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Br J Cancer. 1992 Sep;66(3):528-32.

Tumour growth rate and DNA flow cytometry parameters as prognostic factors in metastatic melanoma.

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Department of Radiotherapy and Oncology, Helsinki University Central Hospital, Finland.


The prognostic value of flow cytometric parameters and tumour growth rate of melanoma metastases under the mouse renal capsule was investigated for tumours from 117 consecutive patients referred to the Helsinki University Central Hospital Melanoma Team. DNA flow cytometry (FCM) was interpretable for the tumours of 114 patients, and growth rate analysis for 82 patients, both results being available from 79 patients. Thirty-six percent of the tumours were DNA diploid and 64% DNA aneuploid. Tumour ploidy and S-phase fraction were shown by multivariate Cox model analysis to be independent prognostic variables and major determinants of survival after first recurrence. Patients with DNA diploid or aneuploid tumours survived a median 16 and 27 months, respectively. A high growth rate of tumour sample in vivo under the mouse renal capsule tended to be a sign of poor prognosis, although not reaching statistical significance. Combining the results of FCM, tumour growth rate and TNM stage, we propose a highly efficient prognostic scoring method. Patients with a score above 0.75 had a median survival of 11 months compared to 30 months among patients scoring under 0.75 (P less than 0.0001). This score was the most significant (P less than 0.0001) prognostic factor in the Cox model when TNM stage, age, ploidy, SPF, and tumour growth rate were analysed as covariates.

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