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Pathologica. 1994 Feb;86(1):30-42.

[Evaluation of prognostic parameters in colorectal carcinoma. II. Ploidy determination with flow cytometry].

[Article in Italian]

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  • 1Istituto di Anatomia, Istologia e Citologia Patologica dell'UniversitĂ  di Ferrara.


The prognostic value of DNA ploidy in large bowel cancer is still controversial. In the present investigation we have evaluated the nuclear DNA content in 123 colorectal adenocarcinomas by flow cytometry using multiple frozen tumour samples. Thirty-three (26.8%) carcinomas were classified as diploid and 90 as aneuploid (73.2%). Presence of DNA aneuploidy was found to be unrelated to age and sex of patients, tumour stage and grade of differentiation, as well as to several other histopathological variables. However, multiploid tumours (20/123, 16.3%) resulted to be more frequently in advanced stages of disease (stages III and IV, P < 0.025) and more often showed unfavourable histopathological features, especially an infiltrating pattern of growth (P < 0.05), compared to diploid and single aneuploid carcinomas. Nuclear DNA content was found to be closely related to tumour site. Carcinomas of the proximal colon were more frequently diploid (P < 0.005) and more often displayed a DI < or = 1.20 (P < 0.001) than tumours of the distal colon. Nuclear DNA content was also found to be related to tumour type. In fact, a high proportion (66.7%) of mucinous carcinomas showed DI values < or = 1.20; conversely only 31.4% of nonmucinous adenocarcinomas had a DI < or = 1.20 (P < 0.01). Intratumoural heterogeneity in nuclear DNA content was found in 23% of cases. These results seem to suggest that the DNA ploidy pattern probably reflects different genetic mechanisms involved in the development of carcinomas in the proximal and distal colon. Furthermore our data support the hypothesis that mucinous carcinoma represents a distinct clinicopathologic entity, possibly related to pathogenetic factors different from those acting in the majority of nonmucinous adenocarcinomas. Finally, the analysis of multiple tissue samples taken from different areas of each tumour is necessary to assess carefully the DNA ploidy pattern of large bowel carcinomas.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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