DNA aneuploidy and cell proliferation in breast tumors

Cancer. 1989 Aug 1;64(3):673-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19890801)64:3<673::aid-cncr2820640318>3.0.co;2-d.


The cellular DNA content of 30 benign and 180 malignant breast tumors was analyzed by means of flow cytometry (FCM). All benign tumors exhibited a normal DNA content (diploid), whereas 65% of the malignant tumors showed an abnormal DNA content (aneuploid). The ploidy distribution of malignant tumors was bimodal with an increasing frequency near diploid DNA index (DI), and a second group had a DI ranging from triploid to tetraploid. In estimating the degree of malignancy eight independent histomorphologic and cytologic criteria were introduced. A good correlation was observed between DNA content abnormalities and the grade of differentiation of breast carcinomas. The percentage of S-phase cells of DNA aneuploid cell lines was significantly higher than in the diploid ones. The highly differentiated breast carcinomas (Grade 1) indicated lower S-phase values as compared to the undifferentiated (Grade 3) ones. S-phase values estimated by FCM were about two times higher than the 3H-thymidine labeling index (LI) obtained by an in vitro procedure. The data estimated in this study showed that DNA determinations as an adjunct to conventional histopathologic assessment may provide objective clinically relevant information with respect to the degree of malignancy and prognosis of patients with breast carcinoma.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aneuploidy*
  • Autoradiography
  • Breast Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Breast Neoplasms / pathology
  • Cell Division
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Diploidy
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Lymphatic Metastasis
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging


  • DNA, Neoplasm