Context: Molecular analysis of microsatellite alterations of biologically distinct tumor cell subpopulations from the same patient may aid in the determination of tumor origin and further our understanding of the genetic basis of cancer progression.
Design: The authors examined the pattern of allelic loss with polymorphic microsatellite markers on chromosome 9p21 (D9S161, D9S171, IFNA), regions of putative tumor suppressor gene p16, and on chromosome 17p13 (TP53), the p53 locus, in matched primary and metastatic bladder cancers from 9 patients. All patients underwent cystectomy for bladder cancer and had regional lymph node metastases at the time of surgery. Genomic DNA was prepared from primary cancers and matched synchronous lymph node metastases using a microdissection method.
Results: The overall frequency of allelic loss was 78% in primary cancer and 89% in paired metastatic cancer. The frequency of allelic loss in the primary cancer was 86% with D9S161, 67% with D9S171, 71% with IFNA, and 80% with TP53. The frequency of allelic loss in matched metastatic cancer was 100% with D9S161, 62% with D9S171, 71% with IFNA, and 80% with TP53. An identical pattern of allelic imbalance (allelic loss or retention) at multiple DNA loci was observed in matched primary and metastatic carcinoma in 8 (88%) cases. One case showed allelic loss in the metastasis, but not in the primary cancer.
Conclusions: The pattern of allelic loss at chromosome 9p21 (p16) and 17p13 (p53) was generally maintained during cancer progression to metastasis, and identical allelic loss in primary cancer was conserved in paired metastatic carcinoma. These data suggest that these genetic changes may be useful in establishing a diagnosis and determining tumor origins in difficult cases.