Purpose: To compare clonogenic cell survival, DNA damage and chromosomal radiosensitivity in nine cervix carcinoma cell lines. Materials and methods: Initial and residual (after 24 h repair) radiation-induced DNA damage was evaluated using pulsed field gel electrophoresis. Chromosome damage was measured by micronucleus (MN) induction in cytochalasin-B-induced binucleate cells. Results: Significant differences between the cell lines were obtained in the induced levels of initial damage, residual damage and MN. Values for SF2 for the nine cell lines ranged from 0.36 to 0.92. No correlation was found between clonogenic measurements of radiosensitivity and initial DNA damage dose - response slopes. However, borderline significant correlations were seen between clonogenic radiosensitivity data and the levels of residual DNA damage. There was no correlation between clonogenic radiosensitivity and the levels of radiation-induced MN. Cell lines with high levels of initial damage had high yields of MN induced by radiation and the correlation seen was significant. Conclusions: The poor correlation between the different endpoints precludes their use in a clinical setting on primary tumour samples in vitro. It may be that tumour cell lines in vitro are a poor model for tumours in vivo. Studies aimed at assessing assays for measuring tumour radiosensitivity therefore should employ clinical samples. In vitro cell line work should concentrate on unravelling the complex mechanisms involved in determining a radiosensitive or radioresistant phenotype.