Abstract The models of “target” theory in radiation biology were used to evaluate the survival curves of human ovarian carcinoma cell line after exposure to adriamycin combined with ultrasound. 3AO cells were exposed to adriamycin in group ADR, to adriamycin after ultrasound exposure in group US + ADR, and to adriamycin prior to insonation in group ADR + US. The cell survival was determined by a clonogenic assay. The dose–response curves were fitted to two models, (1) single-hit, single-target model, (2) single-hit, multi-target model. The single-hit, multi-target model could fit the survival curve in group ADR, but it could only describe the survivals in groups US + ADR and ADR + US while the concentration of adriamycin was less than 0.05 μg/ml. These suggested that the single-hit, multi-target model could be conditionally used to describe the survival while cells were exposed to the combination of adriamycin and acoustic exposure. The models also were tools to understand the potentiation attributable to insonation.