Many cell lines, when cultured under proper conditions, can form three dimensional structures called MULTICELLULAR spheroids. These spheroids resemble in vivo tumor models in several aspects. Therefore, studying growth characteristics and behavior of spheroids is beneficial in understanding the behavior of tumors under various experimental conditions. In this work, we have studied the growth properties, along with the thermal characteristics of spheroids of DU 145 human prostate carcinoma cell lines and compared the results to monolayer cultures of these cells. For this purpose, the DU 145 cells were cultured either as monolayer or spheroids. At various times after initiation of cultures, the growth properties of spheroids as a function of seeding cell number was determined. To evaluate the thermal characteristics of spheroids, they were heated at various stages of growth at 43 degreesC for various periods. The thermal response was judged by the survival fraction of colony forming cells in spheroids or monolayer culture following heat treatment. The results showed spheroids were more resistant to heat than monolayer cultures at all stages of development. However, the extent of this thermal resistant was dependent on the age, and consequently, the size of the spheroid. The result suggests that the differential thermal resistance of the spheroid cultures develop gradually during the growth of spheroid cultures of DU 145 cell line.