DNA analysis of breast tumour fine needle aspirates using flow cytometry

Br J Cancer. 1987 Nov;56(5):643-6. doi: 10.1038/bjc.1987.259.


Cellular DNA was analysed by flow cytometry in fine needles aspirates (FNA) from both benign and malignant breast lesions in order to determine the feasibility of flow cytometric analysis. In 22 of 26 (84%) benign and 69 of 74 (93%) malignant aspirates, sufficient cells were present to produce good quality DNA histograms. DNA in all 22 benign lesions was diploid. In contrast, of the 69 cancers with sufficient cells for analysis, 40.6% had a diploid DNA content alone, whilst 59.4% had an additional DNA aneuploid line. These results indicate that the majority of FNAs provide sufficient material for flow cytometric analysis of DNA profiles. Such aspirates taken in a sequential manner may also prove to be an ideal method of studying tumour response to therapy.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Breast Neoplasms / analysis*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Ploidies


  • DNA, Neoplasm