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Histopathology. 1997 Nov;31(5):420-9.

Stereological estimates of the nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio and star volume on fibreoptic biopsies are of prognostic value for survival in a preliminary study of advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.

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Radiotherapy Division, Hospital das Clínicas, University of São Paulo, Brazil.



This study evaluated the role of morphometric and clinical parameters in establishing the prognosis of patients submitted to radiotherapy for advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the lung.


Morphometric studies were performed by point counting techniques. Forty patients were included in this study. Group 1 patients (n = 22) were those with survival equal to or less than 6 months; group 2 (n = 10) patients had a survival of 7 to 12 months; and group 3 (n = 8) included patients with survival greater than 12 months. To characterize these three groups of patients, models combining categorical and continuous variables were constructed by means of discriminant analysis. Weight loss, histological grade, nuclear/cytoplasmic ratio and star volume of the nuclei were selected during the backward procedure as relevant variables to characterize the three groups of patients. The overall sensitivity of the model was 90%.


Our results indicate that histopathological data may help to predict prognosis in patients with advanced squamous cell lung carcinoma, and encourage the use of morphometric procedures in histopathological analysis of this type of lung tumour.

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