Lineage-restricted clonality in biphasic solid tumors

Am J Pathol. 1991 May;138(5):1199-207.


Cytogenetic analysis of two pulmonary chondroid hamartomas and nine breast adenofibromas revealed clonal chromosome aberrations in both hamartomas and in four breast tumors. To determine lineage of the cells with chromosome aberrations, a combined immunohistochemical/cytogenetic approach was developed that enabled simultaneous ascertainment of cytogenetic aberrations and immunohistochemical features in individual cells. Immunohistochemical/cytogenetic evaluation of one hamartoma and two adenofibromas demonstrated that neoplastic proliferation, in each case, was confined to the mesenchymal (stromal) component, whereas epithelial cells appeared to be reactive. Cytogenetically abnormal short-term cultures of the remaining hamartoma and another of the breast adenofibromas were composed entirely of mesenchymal elements, indicating mesenchymal clonality in those tumors as well. Our findings support redesignation of pulmonary chondroid hamartomas as 'pulmonary chondromas' and suggest that carcinomas developing within fibroadenomas arise from reactive epithelial proliferation. Combined immunohistochemical/cytogenetic analysis might be useful in the development of novel therapeutic approaches that selectively target neoplastic populations within solid tumors.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / genetics
  • Adenocarcinoma / metabolism
  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology*
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics
  • Breast Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / metabolism
  • Cell Transformation, Neoplastic / pathology
  • Chromosome Aberrations
  • Hamartoma / genetics
  • Hamartoma / metabolism
  • Hamartoma / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Karyotyping
  • Keratins / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / genetics
  • Lung Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Lung Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Mesoderm / metabolism
  • Mesoderm / pathology
  • Trisomy
  • Tumor Cells, Cultured
  • Vimentin / metabolism


  • Vimentin
  • Keratins