Basic Methods for Assessing Cellular Proliferation
The major problem in attempting to assess proliferation is to ensure that the method used is capable of giving the data we seek. We should first consider what we want to measure. The commonest question is “can we say that cells in this tissue are being produced faster than in that?” Such questions demand a viable technique giving reproducible and unequivocal results that have discriminatory power in statistical tests, and it should be appreciated that such an ideal measurement has not yet emerged. Unfortunately, for both practical and ethical reasons, using clinical material often limits the type of procedure used. Many of the simplest methods will yield only information on the proliferative state of the cells not the rate at which they are being produced. This can produce misleading data since the question we posed asks about rates.
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