The labelled mitosis curve for a population consisting of fast and slowly cycling cells

H. M. Hudson*, G. M. Hahn

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    13 Citations (Scopus)


    In studies of tumour growth, and particularly of tumour treatment with phase-specific chemotherapeutic agents, the fraction labelled mitosis technique is frequently used to estimate the kinetic properties of the cell population making up the tumour. We show here that the FLM technique is in principle very insensitive to the behaviour of slowly cycling cells, even if these constitute a large proportion of the total cell population. Furthermore, since the rate of DNA synthesis is frequently lower in slowly growing cells than in those growing rapidly, there is a higher probability of labelling error associated with the former cells. In view of these theoretical and experimental considerations, it is suggested that considerable caution be used when applying the FLM technique to heterogeneous cell populations such as those of solid tumours.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)63-79
    Number of pages17
    JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - 7 May 1977


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