Optimization in radiotherapy may be conceivably achieved by individualized treatment regimens. For this, the radiosensitivity of the tumor cells to be treated must be known. A method is presented to show that the effect of radiation on tumor cells in spheroids can be quantitatively evaluated without complicated cell determinations of spheroid composition. This evaluation is based on the dynamics of inactivation of the colony forming ability of whole spheroids composed chiefly of non-transformed diploid fibroblasts and a minority of HeLa "test" cells. Here, spheroids of identical composition, but of different sizes are inactivated proportional to their sizes, thus obviating the need for tedious single cell procedures. The use of spheroids of different sizes permits the deduction of dose-effect relationships, and the innate radiosensitivity of tumors cells. This is a novel method for measuring the radio and chemosensitivity of tumors in primary culture, i.e. cells directly isolated from tumors.