Hyperdiploidy and chromosomal rearrangements define the anaplastic variant of Wilms' tumor

J Clin Oncol. 1986 Jun;4(6):975-81. doi: 10.1200/JCO.1986.4.6.975.


Flow cytometric measurement of the DNA content of Wilms' tumor cells revealed a striking correspondence with the histologic subtype and treatment outcome. In the 48 cases studied, a hyperdiploid DNA content ranging from 1.7 to 3.2 times the result for normal diploid cells distinguished all but one of the ten anaplastic tumors. Lower values, from 1.0 to 1.4 times the diploid DNA content, characterized the nonanaplastic specimens. By Kaplan-Meier analysis, the probability of achieving 3 years of relapse-free survival was significantly lower in the group with higher DNA content (0.42 v 0.87, P less than .01). Analysis of banded chromosomes for a subset of 22 patients contributed important information beyond the flow cytometric study. Cases of anaplasia associated with poorer responses to therapy showed numerous complex translocations, whereas all others lacked such changes. By combining flow cytometric techniques and conventional methods of chromosome analysis, it should be possible to identify those patients with Wilms' tumor who are most likely to fail therapy. The biologic implication of these findings is that the development of clinical drug resistance in Wilms' tumor is a result of the genetic instability of the malignant clone.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / therapeutic use
  • Child
  • Diploidy*
  • Drug Resistance
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Karyotyping
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / drug effects
  • Neoplastic Stem Cells / ultrastructure
  • Prognosis
  • Translocation, Genetic*
  • Wilms Tumor / drug therapy
  • Wilms Tumor / genetics*
  • Wilms Tumor / pathology