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Cancer Detect Prev. 2004;28(4):244-51.

Multi-target interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization assay increases sensitivity of sputum cytology as a predictor of lung cancer.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Cancer Center, Campus Box B188, Denver 80262, USA.


Survival rates for lung cancer are low because patients have disseminated disease at diagnosis; therefore tests for early diagnosis are highly desirable. This pilot study investigated occurrence of chromosomal aneusomy in sputum from a 33 case-control cohort matched on age, gender, and date of sample collection. Subjects had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and > or = 30 pack-years of tobacco use, and aneusomy was tested using a multi-target DNA FISH assay (LAVysion, Abbott/Vysis). In specimens collected within 12 months of lung cancer diagnosis, abnormality was more frequent among the 18 cases (41%) than the 17 controls (6%; P = 0.04). Aneusomy had no significant association with cytologic atypia, which might indicate that molecular and morphological changes could be independent markers of tumorigenesis. Combining both tests, abnormality was found in 83% of the cases and 20% of the controls (P = 0.0004) suggesting that FISH may improve the sensitivity of cytologic atypia as a predictor of lung cancer.

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