The relevance of the DNA index and proliferation rate in the grading of benign and malignant soft tissue tumors

Cancer. 1990 Apr 15;65(8):1782-8. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19900415)65:8<1782::aid-cncr2820650819>;2-i.


The relevance of the DNA index (DI) to malignancy grading and the relationships between mitotic score, Ki-67 score, and the proportion of cells in the G1-phase (G1PF) of the cell cycle, as proliferative indicators, were investigated in benign (n = 8) and malignant (n = 46) soft tissue sarcomas. Although DI was not found to be related to the histology of the sarcomas, it was associated with malignancy grade, i.e., 14%, 25%, 42%, and 86% of benign, Grade 1, Grade 2, and Grade 3, respectively had a DI greater than 1. The relevance of aneuploidy in benign tumors is discussed and the literature reviewed. A subgroup of the malignant tumors (n = 13) had both a low mitotic score and a low Ki-67 value. However, a distinct correlation between Ki-67 and the mitotic score could not be shown. For malignant tumours G1PF was related to DI, i.e., low G1PF occurred in tumors with diploid DNA content. Low Ki-67 scores were observed in 59% of diploid tumors and in 20% of aneuploid tumors. However, it appeared that G1PF and Ki-67 were not correlated. In conclusion, (1) benign and Grade 1 tumors were predominantly diploid with high G1PF and low Ki-67 values, (2) most of Grade 3 tumors were aneuploid (86%) with low G1PF and high Ki-67 values, and (3) the group of Grade 2 tumors could be divided into two subgroups either with the characteristics displayed by benign and Grade 1 tumors (DI = 1, low Ki-67 scores, and high G1PF) or with the characteristics exhibited by Grade 3 tumors (DI greater than 1, high Ki-67 scores, and low G1PF). Hence, supplementary to the grading of soft tissue tumors, DI, G1PF, and Ki-67 score could be useful as prognostic parameters in soft tissue tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / analysis
  • Aneuploidy
  • Cell Cycle
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Nucleus / ultrastructure
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Diploidy
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Histiocytoma, Benign Fibrous / genetics
  • Histiocytoma, Benign Fibrous / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interphase
  • Mitosis
  • Prognosis
  • Sarcoma / genetics
  • Sarcoma / pathology
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Soft Tissue Neoplasms / pathology


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Alkaline Phosphatase