Comparison of clinical staging of benign and malignant ovarian tissues with DNA flow cytometry

Jerry T. Thornthwaite, J. Clint Stanfill, Ahmed S. Ahmed


The prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ovarian cancer are major issues. The outcome of patients with advanced ovarian cancer is poor despite aggressive therapy including surgery, combination drug chemotherapy and radiation treatments. From the literature, the direct correlation between DNA ploidy and survival is greatly enhanced using high resolution DNA measurements, which results in a coefficient of variation (CV) range between 1%-2% (1.42 ± 0.19, n=66) for trout red blood cells (TRBC) and 2%-3% (2.18 ± 0.46 SD, n=22) for tonsil nuclei derived from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues (deparaffinated). DNA nuclear determinations from 50 ovarian cancer and 21 benign patients is presented. This was accomplished by measuring the DNA content of nuclei simultaneously isolated from deparaffinated tissues, stained with the fluorescent DNA specific dye, 4’, 6-diamidino-1-phenylindole (DAPI) and analyzed on a high resolution flow cytometer. A high percentage of aneuploidy (92.0%) was determined from the ovarian cancer patients, especially of the aneuploid DNA histogram types, such as hypodiploid, multiploid and hypertetraploid (64.0%), which have shown poor prognosis in a variety of cancers including ovarian. Furthermore, aneuploidy was detected in 23.8% of the benign patients. DNA flow cytometry may complement pathological assessment of ovarian cancer to better determine malignancy, thus justifying a closer follow-up with more specialized approaches to treatment in clinical trials that involve new therapies including the use of chemically defined, natural products, which may help offset the overall poor prognosis seen in ovarian cancer.


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Journal of Solid Tumors

ISSN 1925-4067(Print)   ISSN 1925-4075(Online)

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