We have developed a system of mixed aggregates of cultured cells, to model in situ cell interactions. This three-dimensional (3D) system of floating cell aggregates, termed spheroids for their round shape, enables one to monitor their growth in both size and number of constituent clonogens and to measure survival curves for cells having 3D cell-cell interactions. This system was used to measure the three-dimensional cell-cell interactions on growth, and clonogenicity of either AG1522 fibroblasts, or HeLa cervical cancer cells (pure spheroids, or if both feeder and test cells are the same type, pseudohybrid spheroids), and/or of mixtures of both (hybrid spheroids). By following the increase or decrease in size of, or number of clonogens per, spheroid over time, one obtains growth or inhibition curves. By relating these clonogen numbers, one obtains, after a suitable growth period, relative survival. The system allows one to score the effects of irradiation and of other treatments, as well as the effect of interaction of the constituent cells on their survival. Floating pure, or pseudohybrid (composed of 10% live fibroblasts and 90% supralethally irradiated fibroblast feeder cells) spheroids, shrank to about 10-20% of their volume in three days and then remained at that size for up to six days. In contrast, pure spheroids composed of live HeLa cells increased their volume by an order of magnitude over the same period. Survival of cells in spheroids was measured by the ability of individual spheroids to grow beyond a size implying a ten-fold increase. A caveat to be observed is to correct survival for cellular multiplicity, i.e. reduce survival values to compensate for more than one colony former at the time of irradiation. The system of spheroids floating and growing in nutrient medium provides a selective system for evaluating growth of HeLa, and by implication, other neoplastic cells, without interference from (overgrowth by) normal fibroblasts. Thus it is possible to discriminate between normal and neoplastic cells by virtue of whether or not cells grow in suspension. Such a system seems ideal for testing novel strategies (radiation in combination with chemicals), in an in vivo-like environment.