J Korean Cancer Assoc.  1997 Oct;29(5):738-747.

The Significance of DNA Flow-cytometry in Breast Cancer

  • 1Department of Surgery, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Pathology, Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


PURPOSE: To evaluate the relationship between nuclear DNA contents and prognostic factors and survival in breast cancer patients.
We determined nuclear DNA content from 91 paraffin-embedded malignant breast tumors and evaluated relationship between DNA nuclear content and well-known prognostic indicators of breast cancer and the survival of the patients by statistical analyses.
Twenty nine (34.5%) of the 91 tumors examined were diploid, and the remainder (65.5%) contained one or more aneuploid clones. S-phase fraction (SPF) ranged from 1.4 to 68.3% (median 11.2%) and it was higher in aneuploidy tumors than in diploid tumors (p<0.05). Positive axillary lymph nodes were found in 72.7% of the patients who had a tumor with a high SPF (above the median 11.2%) and in 27.3% of those with tumor with low SPF (below median) (p<0.05). The overall survival rate was 96.1% in DNA diploid and 87.6% in DNA aneuploid tumors, showing that DNA ploidy had no prognostic significance in breast cancers. The actuarial survival rates were 96.4% and 86.3% for low and high SPF, respectively (p=0.28). The patients with high SPF showed high disease free survival rate compared to the patients with low SPF but the difference had no statistical significance.
Our results indicate DNA aneuploid tumors were more prevalent in breast cancer patients with high SPF or lymph node metastasis and larger patient accumulation with longer follow-up period will be helpful to identifiy the relationship between flow- cytometrical analysis and prognosis.


DNA flow-cytometry; S-phase fraction; DNA index; Breast cancer
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