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Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1998 Oct;23(2):81-99.

Cytogenetic analysis of pancreatic carcinomas: intratumor heterogeneity and nonrandom pattern of chromosome aberrations.

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Department of Clinical Genetics, University Hospital, Lund, Sweden.


Twenty-nine nonendocrine pancreatic carcinomas (20 primary tumors and nine metastases) were studied by chromosome banding after short-term culture. Acquired clonal aberrations were found in 25 tumors and a detailed analysis of these revealed extensive cytogenetic intratumor heterogeneity. Apart from six carcinomas with one clone only, 19 tumors displayed from two to 58 clones, bringing the total number of clones to 230. Karyotypically related clones, signifying evolutionary variation, were found in 16 tumors, whereas unrelated clones were present in nine, the latter finding probably reflecting a distinct pathogenetic mechanism. The cytogenetic profile of pancreatic carcinoma was characterized by multiple numerical and structural changes. In total, more than 500 abnormal chromosomes, including rings, markers, homogeneously stained regions, and double minutes, altogether displaying 608 breakpoints, were detected. This complexity and heterogeneity notwithstanding, a nonrandom karyotypic pattern can be discerned in pancreatic cancer. Chromosomes 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 17, and 19 and bands 1q12, 1q21, 3q11, 6p21, 6q21, 7q11, 7q22, 7q32, 11q13, 13cen, 14cen, 17q11, 17q21, and 19q13 were most frequently involved in structural rearrangements. A total of 19 recurrent unbalanced structural changes were identified, 11 of which were not reported previously: del(1)(q11), del(3)(p11), i(3)(q10), del(4)(q25), del(11)(p13), dup(11)(q13q23), i(12)(p10), der(13;15)(q10;q10), del(18)(q12), del(18)(q21), and i(19)(q10). The main karyotypic imbalances were entire-copy losses of chromosomes 18, Y, and 21, gains of chromosomes 7, 2, and 20, partial or whole-arm losses of 1p, 3p, 6q, 8p, 9p, 15q, 17p, 18q, 19p, and 20p, and partial or whole-arm gains of 1q, 3q, 5p, 6p, 7q, 8q, 11q, 12p, 17q, 19q, and 20q. In general, the karyotypic pattern of pancreatic carcinoma fits the multistep carcinogenesis concept. The observed cytogenetic heterogeneity appears to reflect a multitude of interchangeable but oncogenetically equivalent events, and the nonrandomness of the chromosomal alterations underscores the preferential pathways involved in tumor initiation and progression.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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