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The prognostic significance of the DNA content in Ewing's sarcoma: a retrospective cytophotometric and flow cytometric study.

Authors
Type
Published Article
Journal
Histopathology
Publication Date
Volume
23
Issue
4
Pages
333–339
Identifiers
PMID: 8300068
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The DNA content of the cell nuclei of Ewing's sarcoma was analysed by means of cytophotometry in situ with image analysis in Feulgen-stained sections in 37 patients, and by retrospective flow cytometry according to the method of Hedley in 26 patients. Different histogram patterns were obtained: normal unimodal or bimodal DNA distributions and abnormal DNA distributions with one or two stem lines, or an abnormal DNA distribution with no stem lines. Both methods enabled us to make a distinction between two groups of Ewing's sarcomas with a different prognosis. All patients with aneuploid tumours died within 5 years after the initial diagnosis. Eleven of 19 (58%) patients with a normal DNA distribution in their tumour, as determined by cytophotometry, are still alive and in good health with a mean survival period of 7.5 years, ranging from 2 to 19 years. Of the group of patients in which flow cytometry revealed a normal DNA pattern, eight of 15 (53%) are still alive and in good health, with a mean survival period of 8 years. These results indicate that both techniques are reliable methods for obtaining prognostic information in Ewing's sarcomas. However, cytophotometry in situ yielded a better discrimination for the overall survival (P < 0.01) than did flow cytometry (P < 0.05). In 19% of the cases there was a discrepancy between the DNA histograms obtained with the two techniques. In five of 26 cases the DNA distributions were classified as normal by one method and aneuploid by the other. Tumour cell representation or selective loss of cells during enzymatic treatment may be responsible for this discrepancy.

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