Background: The clinical value of DNA flow cytometry of colorectal cancer is unclear. The purpose of this retrospective study was to evaluate the relationship between tumor flow cytometry, histopathologic parameters, and survival.
Methods: Flow cytometry was performed on paraffin embedded specimens from 653 patients who had surgery from 1980 to 1983.
Results: Aneuploidy was associated with distal tumor, perineural invasion, desmoplastic reaction, and failure to secrete mucin. TNM Stage I tumors were more frequently diploid than were more advanced tumors (71% vs. 41%). An abnormal DNA content had a marginal impact on survival as evaluated by univariate analysis (69% vs. 61% 10-year survival rate, P = 0.06). Multivariate analysis revealed that significant predictors of outcome were lymph node metastasis (95% confidence interval of relative risks of death from recurrent disease, 1.50-2.92), rectal cancer (1.22-2.19), absence of lymphocytic infiltration (1.20-2.17), invasion through bowel wall (1.17-3.13), lymphatic vessel invasion outside bowel wall (1.05-2.69), perineural invasion (1.15-3.19), and male gender (1.00-1.79).
Conclusions: These findings suggest that ploidy is associated with some histopathologic parameters, but flow cytometry does not correlate with long term survival of patients with colorectal carcinoma.