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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 2000 Jan 1;116(1):81-3.

Chromosomal doubling: the significance of polyploidization in the development of human tumors: possibly relevant findings on a lymphoma.

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Department of Cancer Research, Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood, Middlesex, United Kingdom.


Recent molecular evidence points to defects in cell cycle checkpoints as one of the most important events in the transformation of normal to malignant cells. A byproduct of, if not a critical step brought about by, these defects is the occurrence of polyploidization; near-tetraploid and near-octoploid cells are a common feature of cancers, and the neoplastic stemline may itself attain a high (e.g., near-tetraploid) value. This short review cites cases in which polyploidization is frequent, even at an early stage of tumor development, and considers the probability that, once a high stemline has arisen, there is increased instability with the likelihood of further chromosome changes. A possible example of the latter is a lymphoma in which tetraploid and hypotetraploid metaphases were found, the latter, interestingly, showing an apparently preferential loss from tetraploidy of chromosome 10. It appears, therefore, that a stemline was emerging consequent to (a) chromosome doubling resulting in tetraploid cells, and (b) the appearance of a hypotetraploid line in which chromosome 10 was under-represented. Alternately, there might have been a repeated loss of chromosomes from tetraploid cells that preferentially included chromosomes 10.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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