Scientific publications

A simple method to assess clonogenic survival of irradiated cancer cells

Jan 2, 2023 | Magazine: Methods and Cell Biology

Irantzu Serrano-Mendioroz  1 , Eneko Garate-Soraluze  1 , María Esperanza Rodriguez-Ruiz  2


The clonogenic assay is an in vitro method based on the ability of a single cell to proliferate indefinitely into a colony. This assay is the gold standard method to analyze cell viability and quantify reproductive cell survival fraction after treatment with ionizing radiation and other cytotoxic agents in vitro.

After the cytotoxic effect, only some cells retain their ability to grow from one cell and form colonies. The colony is defined to consist of at least 50 cells. The radiosensitivity of each cell line may vary.

Thus, characterizing cell sensitivity following radiation is crucial to choose the optimum radiotherapy dose. Here, we describe a method to test the in vitro capability of cell lines to form colonies following radiation treatment.

This assay allows to analyze the efficacy of specific treatments on the cell reproductivity of cell lines With some adaptations, this protocol can be essentially applied to analyze the cell proliferation rate after different doses of irradiation on many different cell lines.

CITATION  Methods Cell Biol. 2023;174:127-136.  doi: 10.1016/bs.mcb.2022.08.002.  Epub 2023 Jan 6