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Br J Cancer. 1999 Nov;81(6):1017-21.

A high proliferation rate measured by cyclin A predicts a favourable chemotherapy response in soft tissue sarcoma patients.

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Helsinki University Central Hospital, Department of Oncology, Finland.


A small but not insignificant number of patients experience a prolonged survival after treatment of metastatic soft tissue sarcoma. This must be weighed against the majority of the patients who benefit little from the therapy, but nevertheless experience its side-effects. It would therefore be of utmost importance to be able to screen for those patients who respond to the treatment. Since proliferating cells are more sensitive to chemotherapy than non-proliferative cells, we measured the proliferation rate of the primary tumour of 55 soft tissue sarcoma patients with locally advanced or metastatic disease by determining the flow cytometric S phase fraction and immunohistochemical Ki-67 and cyclin A scores. S phase fraction or Ki-67 score did not predict chemotherapy response or progression-free survival. A high cyclin A score, however, correlated with a better chemotherapy response (P = 0.02) and longer progression-free survival time (P = 0.04). Our results suggest that a high cyclin A score predicts chemotherapy sensitivity.

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