Correlation of cell‐cycle kinetics, hormone receptors, histopathology, and nodal status in human breast cancer

Ruth E. Moran, Maurice M. Black, Laurence Alpert, Marc J. Straw

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


DNA ploidy and percent of (%S‐phase) S‐phase cells were determined from the DNA content distribution of 21 benign and 76 malignant (69 primary, 7 metastatic) breast tumors using flow cytometry. All of the benign tumors were diploid, whereas 89% of the malignant tumors had measurable aneuploidy. Multiple stem‐lines were observed in approximately 10% of the malignant tumors. The ploidy distribution of the malignant tumors was bimodal with an increased frequency of tumors with a near diploid DNA index (DI), and a second group with DI ranging from triploid to tetraploid. The percentage of cells in S‐phase ranged from <1% to 37.4%. DI and %S were significantly higher in poorly differentiated duct carcinomas, medullary carcinomas, and recurrent tumor metastases. DI and %S were also significantly higher in estrogen‐receptor‐negative tumors. There was no correlation between DI or %S and the extent of axillary nodal metastases. However, within the groups of node‐negative and node‐positive patients, DI and %S were not randomly distributed but were significantly correlated with degree of nuclear differentiation. Both parameters were higher in poorly differentiated tumors compared with well‐differentiated tumors, indicating significant intrastage heterogeneity in tumor ploidy and proliferation characteristics. Determination of the prognostic significance of DI and %S will require a longer follow‐up time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1586-1590
Number of pages5
Issue number8
StatePublished - 15 Oct 1984
Externally publishedYes


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