Flow cytometric DNA analysis of fresh prostatic resections. Correlation with conventional prognostic parameters in patients with prostate cancer

Cancer. 1993 Nov 15;72(10):3012-9. doi: 10.1002/1097-0142(19931115)72:10<3012::aid-cncr2820721025>3.0.co;2-y.


Background: DNA ploidy analysis has been investigated as a prognostic indicator in prostate cancer. Most of the data is derived from retrospective studies using paraffin-embedded tissue. This method has drawbacks related to the quality of DNA histograms and uncontrolled data collection.

Methods: DNA ploidy analysis of freshly resected prostatic tissue was prospectively compared with conventional prognostic variables in 97 men treated with radical prostatectomy for localized prostate cancer.

Results: Regarding the patients, 31.9% were African American and 66% had pathologic Stages C or D1 disease. Only 9.6% of patients with Stages A2 and B had a prostate-specific antigen (PSA) value greater than 10 ng/ml, whereas 97% of patients with PSA values greater than 20 ng/ml had pathologic Stages C and D1. PSA levels correlated with Gleason score (P = < 0.05); 51% and 100% of patients with Gleason score 5-7 and 8-10, respectively, had PSA values greater than 10 ng/ml. Twenty-two patients (23%) had DNA aneuploid tumors. Comparisons of mechanical to enzymatic cell suspensions indicated that DNA aneuploidy was better preserved in mechanical cell preparations. DNA ploidy correlated with pathologic stage (P = < 0.05) and Gleason score (P = < 0.05). Fifteen of 79 patients (18.9%) with Gleason score 5-7 had DNA aneuploid tumors versus 71.4% of patients with Gleason score 8-10. PSA groups correlated with ploidy status (P = 0.01). Although the majority of patients (19 of 22) with DNA aneuploid tumors had elevated preoperative PSA levels, none had a PSA value greater than 50 ng/ml.

Conclusions: DNA ploidy analysis correlated with established prognostic indicators in prostate cancer; however, its independent correlation with natural history and treatment outcome must be established for it to have an effect on therapeutic decisions.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aneuploidy
  • DNA, Neoplasm / analysis*
  • Diploidy
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Prospective Studies
  • Prostate / chemistry*
  • Prostate / immunology
  • Prostate / surgery
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen / analysis
  • Prostatectomy*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / chemistry*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / surgery


  • DNA, Neoplasm
  • Prostate-Specific Antigen