The concept of a practical in vitro test to predict the sensitivity of various human tumors to anticancer drugs, long an elusive goal of cancer research, may soon become tangible if promising early results from several research centers can be confirmed.
The ability to determine in advance whether a malignant tumor will respond to a particular drug would virtually revolutionize cancer chemotherapy, say the experts. More precise drug regimens could be confidently designed, and countless patients could be spared the needless exposure to toxic compounds that are not particularly effective against their cancers.
In addition, a dependable predictive test of the drug sensitivity of human tumors would play an immeasurably important role in the screening and selection of new anticancer agents. Traditionally, the development of such drugs has been a somewhat stumbling process, plagued by uncertainty and expense.
Primarily responsible for developing the new predictive test for cancer chemotherapy are