Reporting of methodologies used for clonogenic assays to determine radiosensitivity

Takahiro Oike, Shuichiro Komatsu, Yuka Komatsu, Ankita Nachankar, Narisa Dewi Maulany Darwis, Atsushi Shibata, Tatsuya Ohno

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Radiotherapy treatment strategies should be personalized based on the radiosensitivity of individual tumors. Clonogenic assays are the gold standard method for in vitro assessment of radiosensitivity. Reproducibility is the critical factor for scientific rigor; however, this is reduced by insufficient reporting of methodologies. In reality, the reporting standards of methodologies pertaining to clonogenic assays remain unclear. To address this, we performed a literature search and qualitative analysis of the reporting of methodologies pertaining to clonogenic assays. A comprehensive literature review identified 1672 papers that report the radiosensitivity of human cancer cells based on clonogenic assays. From the identified papers, important experimental parameters (i.e. number of biological replicates, technical replicates, radiation source and dose rate) were recorded and analyzed. We found that, among the studies, (i) 30.5% did not report biological or technical replicates; (ii) 47.0% did not use biological or technical replicates; (iii) 3.8% did not report the radiation source; and (iv) 32.3% did not report the dose rate. These data suggest that reporting of methodologies pertaining to clonogenic assays in a considerable number of previously published studies is insufficient, thereby threatening reproducibility. This highlights the need to raise awareness of standardization of the methodologies used to conduct clonogenic assays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)828-831
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of radiation research
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Nov 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Cancer
  • Clonogenic assays
  • Radiation
  • Radiosensitivity
  • Replicates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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