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Pathology Patterns Reviews

DNA Ploidy and Cell Cycle Analysis in Breast Cancer
Jeffrey S. Ross, MD,1,2 Gerald P. Linette, MD, PhD,2,3 James Stec,2 Merrill S. Ross,1 Shahgul Anwar, MD,1 and Ann Boguniewicz, MD1
Key Words: Ploidy; Cell cycle; S phase; Breast cancer; Prognosis
DOI: 10.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G

Abstract
During the past 10 years there has been considerable interest in the application of new technologies to identify human malignancy and predict disease outcome. Markers of cell proliferation and the technologies of flow cytometry and image analysis for the determination of DNA total content in human tumor cells have been studied in breast cancer for 20 years. In this review, the uses and limitations of these technologies for the determination of ploidy status are discussed. This review also considers the prognostic significance and potential clinical utility of ploidy measurements, S phase calculation, and individual cell cycle regulatory biomarker expression levels.

The use of markers of cell proliferation and the technologies of flow, laser scanning, and image cytometric analysis for the determination of DNA total content in human tumor cells have been among the most frequently used ancillary methods for the detection of neoplasms and the prediction of cancer outcome. This review focuses on the clinical usefulness of cell cycle analysis and DNA ploidy measurements in the diagnosis of human tumors, their applications to cytologic diagnosis, and their potential for predicting disease outcome.

The Normal Cell Cycle and DNA Ploidy
Human neoplasms actively synthesizing DNA replicate through a process similar to that of normal cells known as the cell cycle1,2 ❚Figure 1❚. Cells in the resting diploid state (G0 phase) contain 7.14 pg of DNA and enter the cell cycle as the gap 1 (G1) cells. During the synthesis phase (S phase), cells increase their DNA content continuously from 7.14 to 14.28 pg per cell until they reach the tetraploid state with twice the diploid DNA content. The second gap (G2 phase) refers to this tetraploid, or premitotic, fraction of cells that undergo mitosis in the M phase to generate 2 diploid G0 cells, which may reenter the cell cycle or persist in the resting state. A DNA index of 1.0 corresponds to a 2N or 46 chromosome number characteristic of G0 and G1 cells. The G2 and M cells feature a 2.0 DNA index that corresponds to a 4N chromosome number of 92. The distribution of a population of cells within the cell cycle generates a pattern known as a histogram and represents DNA ploidy.2 A DNA histogram is defined as DNA diploid when the distribution of total DNA content in the predominant or G0/G1 peak of the tumor cell population is
© American Society for Clinical Pathology

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Am J Clin Pathol 2003;120(Suppl 1):S72-S84
DOI: 10.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G

15-1. G0/G1 population. DNA content is studied most commonly by staining cells with propidium iodide.0.Pathology Patterns Reviews Cyclin A/B CDK1 Aneusomy and Aneuploidy G0 1-2 hours M p53 MDM2 G2 2-4 hours 12-96 hours G1S Checkpoint Cyclin D CDK4/6 Rb E2F G1 p21 .6 A technique also has been described to simultaneously study DNA and RNA by measuring DNA staining with Hoechst 33342 and RNA staining by pyronin Y.14 pg).00 (1. Am J Clin Pathol 2003. a DNA-binding dye that can be excited with a standard argon laser. is defined as a DNA content of the G0/G1 peak of a cell population that varies substantially from the G 0 /G 1 peak of the known diploid reference cell population ❚Table 1❚. Some investigators refer to these nondiploid tumors with DNA indices near 2.0 must be differentiated from diploid tumors with significantly increased G2M phases. permits multiparameter analysis correlating DNA content with antigen expression. The photons of light scattered and emitted by a cell following its encounter with the laser beam are separated into various wavelengths by a series of filters and mirrors. 3.0. Loss of a single chromosome is termed monosomy. etc DNA Ploidy Definition Diploid Aneuploid Hypodiploid Hyperdiploid. because flow cytometry requires disaggregation of the tissue sample.0.0 (hyperdiploid). image analysis. and provides the sensitivity for detecting near-diploid aneuploid peaks. tetraploid.15) <0.00 ± 0. Techniques for Measuring DNA Content Techniques used to demonstrate DNA content include flow cytometry. hypotetraploid aneuploid G2M population.5 equal to that of the total DNA content of the G0/G1 peak of a known-to-be-diploid reference cell population and the S and G2M phases of the tumor cell population are relatively low.4. In contrast. Although the best histograms are obtained from fresh or frozen tissue samples. Rb.85 1. in interphase nuclei of smears and tissue sections by fluorescence in situ hybridization. Flow cytometry also has the advantage of permitting retrospective studies of paraffin-embedded tissue samples. more recently. retinoblastoma. However.p19ARF INK 4a Rb E2F Cyclin A CDK2 2-4 hours Cyclin E CDK2 Phosphorylated S ❚Figure 1❚ The normal cell cycle.85 or >1.8 The presence of aneuploid populations might be masked by the inclusion of numerous benign. approximately 85% of the cell population forms the G0/G1 peak and 15% of the cells are in the S and G2M phases.15 (excluding tetraploid) <0. Aneusomy is defined as a single cell with an abnormal number of chromosomes. nontumor cells. also known as nondiploidy.1 Multiple peaks at 1. Combined DNA and RNA measurements can be made with the metachromatic fluorochrome acridine orange.9 1. 4. In normal tissues and most low-grade or slowly proliferating neoplasms. DNA aneuploidy. gain of a single chromosome is termed trisomy.7 DNA analysis by flow cytometry provides fast results. Detectors then generate electrical impulses that are converted into digital signals that then are accumulated in a frequency distribution.3 Although aneusomy and aneuploidy often coexist.0. CDK. Aneusomy can be detected by classic cytogenetics or. or histogram.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G ❚Table 1❚ ❚ DNA Ploidy Definitions G0/G1 Peak DNA Index = 1. it has been reported that fluorescence in situ hybridization is more sensitive than flow cytometric– or image cytometric–derived DNA ploidy measurements for the detection of abnormal DNA content in human tumors.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. and laser scanning cytometry. aneuploidy is defined as a condition of a population of cells when the average DNA content per cell in the cells comprising the G0/G1 phase is substantially different from the normal diploid content (7. The DNA index of an aneuploid cell population rarely might be less than 1.1 >2. there is no simultaneous morphologic comparison. Nondiploid cell populations featuring a DNA index of the G0/G1 main peak at or near 2. 2. tetraploid aneuploid Hypertetraploid aneuploid Multiploid or polyploid © American Society for Clinical Pathology S73 S73 .0 (hypodiploid) and far more commonly is greater than 1. cyclin-dependent kinase.0 as tetraploid tumors.9-2. ❚Image 1❚ illustrates the 4 most frequent types of DNA histograms. Flow Cytometry The flow cytometer uses an optical-to-electronic coupling system and records how a cell interacts with a focused laser beam in terms of scattering of incident light and the cell’s ability to emit fluorescence.

12 Techniques also have been described for performing chromosome analysis by flow cytometry. The availability of image-processing instruments gives the pathologist direct visualization of the © American Society for Clinical Pathology Am J Clin Pathol 2003. hyperdiploid hypotetraploid aneuploid (C). The most common problem occurs when a diploid G2/M population overlaps with an aneuploid S phase.13 Measuring the S Phase by Flow Cytometry S-phase measurement usually is obtained through a computer program that estimates the proliferation fraction by using a variety of models to fit the raw data. The most widespread uses of this technology are in the quantitation of DNA content and in the quantitation of immunofluorescence and immunohistochemical staining. several small gaussian distributions. These paired flow cytometric (left) and image analysis (right) histograms show examples of diploid pattern with low S phase (A). Fixed sections are cut from tissue blocks. The intercalating dyes provide static measurements of the percentages S74 S74 of cells having an S-phase amount of DNA. This does not indicate which cells are cycling or which cells are noncycling.20 attempt to estimate S phase in overlapping populations. or a broadened rectangle.14 Several modeling systems. less precise.000 800 600 400 200 0 0 100 80 60 40 20 0 1 2 4 8 B 1. Cells are counted.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 0 16 32 48 64 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) 200 400 600 800 1. Image Analysis Computer-based image analysis applies digital technology to quantitative measurements in cytopathologic and histopathologic examination.8.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 60 48 36 24 12 0 Cell Count Cell Count Counts Counts 0 16 32 48 64 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) C D 1. washed.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. The models used to analyze asynchronous populations of specimens often model the G0/G1 and G2/M phases by gaussian distributions. Hedley and coworkers9 developed a technique that permitted flow cytometry to be performed on formalin-fixed. Problems exist in estimating S-phase fractions in tumors with overlapping populations. and tetraploid aneuploid (D). 18 The mathematical models for measuring the S phase might be problematic. paraffinembedded tissue sections. an S phase overlaps from a near-diploid population. dewaxed in xylene.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G .000 800 600 400 200 0 0 200 400 600 800 1. as often is seen in breast cancer and in other solid tumors with a DNA index in the range of 1. therefore. and stained with 6-diamidino-2-phenylindole.000 800 600 400 200 0 0 200 400 600 800 1.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 30 24 18 12 6 0 1 2 4 8 Cell Count Cell Count Counts Counts 0 16 32 48 64 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) ❚Image 1❚ Types of DNA ploidy histogram.3 to 1. Software has become available to permit discrimination of doublets from true G2/M cells. while the S-phase region is modeled by a polynomial equation. Single-cell or nuclear suspensions are obtained after incubation with a 0. a trapezoid. such as those described by Dressler and coworkers19 and McDivitt and colleagues.000 800 600 400 200 0 0 1 2 4 8 200 400 600 800 1.Ross et al / DNA PLOIDY AND CELL CYCLE ANALYSIS IN BREAST CANCER A 1.5% pepsin-saline solution. and rehydrated through alcohol solutions. or multiple aneuploid populations have close DNA content.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 30 24 18 12 6 0 1 2 4 8 0 16 32 48 64 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) 1. termed doublets.14 Examples of S phase calculation problems are cases in which a diploid G2/M overlaps with an aneuploid S phase. diploid pattern with high S phase (B).10 Modifications of the Hedley technique have permitted good correlations between paraffin-embedded specimens and histograms from fresh specimens.14-17 A rectangular model is used most often for calculating asynchronous populations with a relatively low S phase.11 although histograms obtained from paraffin-embedded tissues have wider coefficients of variation and are. being interpreted as 1 cell with tetraploid DNA. There also can be difficulty interpreting the G2/M area of a diploid histogram caused by 2 simultaneous cells.

28 Major reviews of DNA content analysis highlighted the relative advantages and disadvantages of all of these technologies. and. true immunoreactivity can be analyzed.29-31 both false-negative and false-positive (aneuploidy) results may be obtained ❚Table 4❚. The computer assigns a number between 1 and 255 to each pixel in the image.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. or the entire cell population on the slide can be measured automatically. the combined use of image and flow cytometry is the most sensitive. Given its versatility and the ability to study small samples. and ❚Image 4❚. 3% of aneuploid cases detected by flow cytometry.25. As the DNA is measured. Comparisons of flow and image cytometry in the determination of DNA ploidy status in breast cancer also are shown in ❚Image 2❚. These measurements are recorded in an electronic or mechanical device.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G S75 S75 . Image analysis. depending on its optical density. The image is scanned at intervals known as pixels. The operator reviews the morphologic characteristics of a given cell or nucleus on the monitor and can reject nontumor cells or artifactually distorted cells. In addition. Quantitative immunohistochemical analysis. Once the image is digitized. thus. with approximately 95% of samples showing similar diploid or aneuploid histograms.23 Flow cytometric studies may fail to detect an aneuploid population in 10% of cases in which such a population can be detected by the image analysis method.25. is performed on the computer-based image analysis system permitting an automated assessment of the degree of reactivity of an immunologic marker based on the summation of optical density measurements with a particular chromogen. therefore. a video camera with digitizer. an American woman has a 1 in 9 chance of developing breast Am J Clin Pathol 2003. morphometric and optical density measurements are performed. This method requires strict control of the staining procedure and rigorous preparation of normal control standards.21 The dye binds stoichiometrically to the double-stranded DNA molecule. this method may be insensitive for an aneuploid peak that is near diploid. a computer reconstruction of the image can be made. this technique provides increased sensitivity when low numbers of tumor cells are present admixed with large numbers of normal cells. particularly the © American Society for Clinical Pathology near-diploid aneuploid peaks. may be more sensitive for detecting aneuploid tumor populations than flow cytometry when small numbers of tumor cells are present. From this digital image. when solid tumors are disaggregated into single-cell suspensions for flow or image cytometry. However. providing simultaneous correlation between DNA studies and morphologic features. the method is slow and requires a skilled morphologist. In particular.32 is provided in ❚Table 2❚ . ❚Image 3❚. image analysis can permit DNA studies on small specimens. A variety of technical issues can affect DNA ploidy measurements ❚Table 3❚. a histogram is plotted on a second monitor.8. DNA can be measured in cytologic preparations or in tissue sections.22 Because image-based DNA ploidy measurements permit the visual recognition of abnormal cells. image analysis is the more sensitive method. such as biopsy and aspirate specimens. In addition. however.Pathology Patterns Reviews cell population being studied for DNA measurement. A comparison of flow cytometry and image analysis for the determination of DNA ploidy in human neoplasms and the relative advantages and disadvantages of each method24. The operator selects the cells for study in a manner similar to that for an image analysis system. The computer-based image analysis system uses the summation of the optical density of each Feulgenstained nucleus to calculate the amount of DNA present based on the Beer-Lambert law. The system uses fluorochromes such as propidium iodide applied to cell smears and tissue sections that are analyzed by a high-speed computer.29-31 These comparative studies have highlighted excellent overall performance of all techniques. a photometric device measures the amount of light absorbed or transmitted. will not be detected by image analysis. The image analysis system consists of a modified optical microscope. At each pixel. A photoelectric cell is used to transform the optical values of light absorbed or transmitted into electronic signals of various amplitude or intensity. Laser Scanning Cytometer The laser scanning cytometer was developed recently to take advantage of the sensitivity of fluorescence-based assays and the specificity of on-slide measurements. that might not contain enough cells for flow cytometric analysis. based on current incidence rates.26 A threshold level for the instrument is set to eliminate nonspecific background staining.27. The instrument calculates the DNA index from peaks on the histogram selected by the operator and also calculates the coefficient of variation. DNA content is studied easily by the image analysis system using Feulgen-stained preparations. and a high-speed computer. initially designed for the analysis of tumor estrogen and progesterone receptor content. DNA Ploidy in Breast Cancer It is estimated that. the laser scanning cytometer shows considerable potential to become a major instrument for the future cytometry laboratory. In general.8.24 However.23. The image analysis method can be used to quantitate immunohistochemical measurements of cell cycle regulatory proteins (see “Cell Cycle Regulators”). The majority of comparative studies have shown excellent correlation between analysis of DNA content by flow cytometry and the computer-based image method.

lymphoid. and clinical testing of biomarkers and prognostic factors that can be used to guide the selection of therapy for the disease.50.61.Ross et al / DNA PLOIDY AND CELL CYCLE ANALYSIS IN BREAST CANCER ❚Table 2❚ ❚ Comparison of Flow Cytometry and Image Analysis for the Determination of DNA Ploidy Advantages Flow cytometry High-speed.39. The results of a variety of studies on the prognostic significance of ploidy and S-phase status have been notably variable. with some investigators finding significant prediction of diseasefree and overall survival on both univariate and multivariate analyses and others finding no effect on disease outcome ❚Table 5❚.74.72 many investigators have reported that the association of both ploidy and S-phase fraction status with prognosis was variable and not conclusive.49.62. stromal cells. 6 studies (18%) found ploidy status predictive on univariate analysis only.42.39-73 The first major retrospective flow cytometric study of DNA content as S76 S76 a predictor of prognosis in breast cancer by Auer et al73 divided histograms into 4 groups ranging from pure diploid to pure aneuploid. Despite numerous large studies indicating DNA ploidy status as an independent and powerful prognostic indicator in breast cancer. and needle core specimens) may be used Does not require disaggregation Pathologist-directed histogram increases sensitivity Disadvantages No simultaneous morphologic comparison of cells during DNA ploidy analysis Low numbers of aneuploid peaks of tumor cells possibly masked by large numbers of benign cells.33-38 A large number of prognosis-related studies using flow cytometry and static cell image analysis have been performed on breast cancer specimens to measure total DNA content and determine the S-phase fraction. the clinical use of DNA content measurement in breast cancer patient management has been controversial.43-72 Of the 34 selected studies highlighted in Table 5.47.64.48 Separate determination of DNA analysis for prognosis prediction for node-negative and node-positive status in patients with breast cancer has been performed. and inflammatory cells Requires disaggregation Image analysis Relatively slow.41. and 11 studies (32%) found no prognostic significance. small aspirates. Other reviews have questioned the independent prognostic value of DNA ploidy in breast carcinoma.63.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10.45.75 In large retrospective studies using disaggregation of paraffin blocks and flow cytometry. curetting specimens.1 As would be expected for such a major disease.69 Thus. development.51-54. there is great interest in the discovery. fast results High number of cells counted Can perform multiparameter analysis to subdivide cells for DNA analysis into epithelial and nonepithelial. biopsy specimens.40.63 In 1 report of patients with node-negative status. but they achieved independent status to predict survival when © American Society for Clinical Pathology Am J Clin Pathol 2003.59.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G .60. etc High cell count enhances sensitivity for near-diploid aneuploid peaks Simultaneous morphologic evaluation of cells during DNA ploidy determination Small samples (eg.44.48. aneuploidy was identified in approximately 50% of breast adenocarcinomas.59.57. tedious work and requires skilled morphologist May be insensitive for near-diploid aneuploid cell populations Coefficient of variation percentages of G0/G1 peaks may be high for small samples ❚Table 3❚ ❚ Technical Issues That Affect DNA Ploidy Analysis Specimen volume Specimen storage Fixatives Disaggregation Stains Tissue section techniques Diploid controls and standards Operator expertise Quality assurance programs Tumor heterogeneity ❚Table 4❚ ❚ Benign Neoplasms and Nonneoplastic Conditions Associated With Aneuploid DNA Content Leiomyoma Colonic adenoma Melanocytic nevi Thyroid adenoma Pituitary adenoma Parathyroid adenoma Adrenal cortical adenoma Schwannoma Fibromatosis Foreign body granuloma Normal seminal vesicle Benign tumors with high lymphocyte content cancer at some time during her life. the former with an excellent prognosis and the latter with a high relapse and mortality rate.55.65-68. 15 (44%) found that aneuploid DNA content in primary breast cancer was a significant adverse prognostic factor on multivariate analysis. multivariate analysis showed that neither DNA index nor elevated Sphase percentage were of predictive significance alone.41.

44). the image analysis histogram (B. respectively. In a large study including 1.000 800 600 400 200 0 0 200 400 600 800 1. Both instruments indicate a hyperdiploid. The aneuploid tumor cell G0/G1 population peak is at the 300 fluorescence channel (DNA index. H&E. The image analysis histogram shows only the tumor cell population. statistical analysis did not confirm the ability of the DNA index and S-phase fraction percentage to independently predict overall survival and discouraged the use of DNA content measurement for the selection of patient-specific therapies.665 patients from the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project. A study from India.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. with DNA index of the aneuploid peak similarly at 1.08. in patients with recurrent disease studied by flow cytometry who had received hormonal or cytotoxic therapy or both. the National Surgical Adjuvant Breast and Bowel Project concluded that DNA analysis could not detect patients with prognosis good enough to preclude their receiving adjuvant chemotherapy.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 20 16 12 8 4 0 2 4 8 Cell Count Cell Count Counts Counts 0 16 32 48 64 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) 0 16 32 48 64 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) ❚Image 2❚ This specimen features a poorly differentiated infiltrating ductal breast adenocarcinoma (A. 1. ×100).50 Interestingly.41 In another study of nodepositive breast cancer patients. whereas the flow cytometric histogram (B.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G S77 S77 . DNA analysis was unsuccessful for predicting the future clinical course. right) is diploid with a DNA index of 1. and its corresponding G2M is at 600. hypotetraploid aneuploid tumor.Pathology Patterns Reviews A A B 1.000 800 600 400 200 0 0 200 400 600 800 1. concluded that ploidy status was an independent prognostic factor predicting recurrence and could be used to identify a subset of node-negative breast cancer patients who could be selected to receive or not receive adjuvant treatment. and inflammatory cell populations from the near-diploid aneuploid tumor cells. however. the flow cytometric histogram shows diploid stromal and inflammatory cells with separate G0/G1 and G2M peaks at fluorescence channels 200 and 400. a neardiploid aneuploid population is identified with a DNA index of 1. In addition.48 © American Society for Clinical Pathology Although the study was promising. benign epithelial.21. This tumor illustrates the increased sensitivity of flow cytometry for near-diploid aneuploidy. which suggested that treatment could conceivably Am J Clin Pathol 2003. right) and flow cytometric histogram (B. DNA ploidy was a significant univariate factor but failed to achieve prognostic significance in a multivariate analysis. as the instrument can separate the diploid stromal.49 A potential clinical role for DNA ploidy analysis in breast cancer has been to aid in the selection of patients with lymph node–negative status for adjuvant chemotherapy. ×100) in which the image analysis histogram (B.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 20 16 12 8 4 0 1 2 4 8 B 1. used as a combination variable.41. H&E. left) features a split G0/G1 peak. ❚Image 3❚ In this infiltrating ductal breast adenocarcinoma (A. left) are essentially identical.

83. Cell proliferation labeling measured by Ki-67 immunostaining correlates with the S-phase levels calculated by flow cytometry but generally is higher. However. In general the S-phase calculation by flow cytometry generally has outperformed the DNA ploidy status as a prognostic factor in breast cancer.000 DNA (Red Fluorescence) 0 8 16 24 32 DDDDAABBCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC DNA Mass (pg) Cell Proliferation Markers in Breast Cancer A wide variety of procedures and biomarker measurements have been used to measure cell proliferation in breast cancer ❚Table 6❚. H&E. negative hormone receptor status.78 In summary. right) of tumor cells only with a DNA index of 1. some investigators believe that image analysis might have advantages. neither the American Society of Clinical Oncology80 nor the College of American Pathologists81 includes ploidy and S-phase measurements in the lists of recommended prognostic factors approved for breast cancer patient management. The relative insensitivity of flow cytometry for identification of aneuploid cell populations when the tumor cell concentration in the suspension is low can be improved by microscopic study of the suspension before evaluation and by 2-color labeling using an epithelial marker antibody to selectively gate for epithelial cells and correspondingly enhance the sensitivity for aneuploidy.03 representing the predominant benign epithelial cell. paraffin-embedded tissue samples and. Ki-67 Immunostaining The antibody Ki-67 was raised against a Hodgkin disease cell line and detects an antigen in the nucleus associated with cell proliferation. therefore. 86-91 Several studies have shown good correlation © American Society for Clinical Pathology ❚Image 4❚ This breast cancer (A. ploidy and cell cycle analysis have not successfully predicted disease outcome. immunostaining requires the use of fresh tissue samples with cryostat sections or touch imprints.000 800 600 400 200 0 20 16 12 8 4 0 1 2 4 Cell Count Counts specimens. left). and the capability for detecting rare aneuploid cell populations and characterize them according to a specific morphologic appearance without the potential impact of enzymatic or mechanical tissue digestion. On flow cytometric analysis (B. ×100) reveals an aneuploid histogram when evaluated by image analysis (B. the ability to analyze small S78 S78 Am J Clin Pathol 2003.82 The original antigen epitope cannot be detected in formalin-fixed.76. and amplification of certain molecular markers indicating unfavorable prognosis. cause divergent results and diminish the ability of DNA ploidy status to predict subsequent outcome in treated patients. Most studies in breast cancer have used immunohistochemical techniques with antibodies to proliferating cell nuclear antigen and the MIB-1 clone of the Ki-67 cell proliferation antigen.77 In lobular breast carcinoma. a diploid pattern was obtained with DNA index of 1. at many hospitals and cancer centers. reflecting the fact that the Ki-67 antigen also is expressed in late G1 as well as in early G2/M phases of the cell cycle. The cell suspension obtained by fine-needle aspiration of the resected tumor was not examined by routine microscopy before analysis. including lower cost. A second aspirate from this specimen was examined microscopically and contained predominantly stromal and inflammatory cells with apparently insufficient numbers of tumor cells for resolution of an aneuploid peak. inflammatory cell. such as the Her-2/neu and c-myc genes.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G .84 The antigen detected by Ki-67 begins to be expressed in the mid-G1 phase and is present through the M phase. with some investigators finding independent prediction of prognosis and others finding no significant correlation.Ross et al / DNA PLOIDY AND CELL CYCLE ANALYSIS IN BREAST CANCER A B 1.62.85 A number of studies testing Ki-67 labeling have shown mixed results.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. and stromal cell components. 0 200 400 600 800 1. Noncycling cells and early G1 cells do not demonstrate immunostaining. DNA ploidy and S-phase fraction status have been correlated generally with high tumor grade.50 Although image analysis and flow cytometry have been used to determine DNA content in breast carcinoma.79 Although it currently is of uncertain use as a prognosis marker. ploidy status often is included as a component of a panel of prognostic markers for patients with breast cancer.

no prognostic significance of ploidy Ploidy independent predictor of survival in white but not black women Ploidy an independent predictor of survival Ploidy and S phase did not predict survival Ploidy independently predicted disease-free survival. P. prospective. S phase predicted overall survival Mitotic index outperformed S phase calculation. ploidy not significant Ploidy independently predicted disease-free and cancer-specific survival S phase outperformed Ki-67 labeling index After 10 adjustments to reclassify histograms.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. flow cytometry. S phase an independent predictor in nodenegative cancer patients Ploidy status a significant predictor In 346 patients.301 patients. © American Society for Clinical Pathology Am J Clin Pathol 2003. and S-phase fraction significant on both univariate and multivariate analyses DNA ploidy independent predictor in 998 patients 2002 Chavez-Uribe et al70 Paraffin 2003 Chang et al71 Paraffin Tsutsui et al72 Paraffin FC. * Disaggregated specimen.Pathology Patterns Reviews ❚Table 5❚ ❚ DNA Ploidy and S-Phase Measurements in Breast Cancer Disease Outcome Statistical Correlation Study Type/ Analysis Univariate Method Significance R/FC* R/FC R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* P/IA* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* R/FC* and IA* R/FC* P/FC* R/FC* FC R/FC* FC FC FC Multivariate Independent Significance Year/Reference 1988 Kallioniemi et al39 Fallenius et al40 1989 Muss et al41 Clark et al42 Christov et al43 1990 Lewis44 Toikkanen et al45 Kute et al46 Joensuu et al47 1991 Fisher et al48 Witzig et al49 Sharma et al50 1992 Arnerlov et al51 Bosari et al52 1994 Leivonen et al53 Witzig et al54 1995 Camplejohn et al55 Dieterich et al56 Pfisterer et al57 1996 Romero et al58 1997 Bergers et al59 Shiao et al60 1999 Midulla et al61 Wong et al62 Pinto et al63 2000 Mandard et al64 2001 Bracko et al65 Pinto et al66 Bagwell et al67 Tsutsui et al68 Chassevent et al69 Specimen Type Comment Paraffin FNA Frozen Frozen Fresh Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Fresh Fresh Paraffin Fresh Paraffin Paraffin Paraffin Fresh Paraffin Fresh Fresh Paraffin Fresh Paraffin Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes No No No No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes No No Yes No No No No Yes No No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes No Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Ploidy combined with S phase Auer histogram classification. S phase correlated Separate analysis of node-negative and node-positive patients To identify patients for adjuvant treatment Ploidy not a significant predictor All multiploid and hypertetraploid patients had recurrence Study of patients with metastatic or recurrent diseases S phase remained significant Ploidy and S phase status independent predictors of outcome DNA ploidy status had prognostic significance but was not independent of tumor grade Neither ploidy nor S-phase fraction a significant prognostic factor S-phase fraction an independent predictor in DNA diploid tumors 1. ploidy status significant on univariate analysis. FNA. R. no correlation with node status DNA index not associated with time to progression or survival S phase did not correlate Correlation with grade Only ploidy predicts survival 55% aneuploid rate Ploidy discriminates patients with estrogen receptor–negative cancer Independent when combined with S phase 1.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G S79 S79 . IA. fine-needle aspirate. retrospective. ploidy and S phase were independent predictors in node-negative cancer patients Ploidy an independent predictor in node-negative cancer patients Ploidy not significant.665 cases. image analysis.

90. PCNA.106-109 Cyclin D1 amplification is associated with enhanced cell proliferation via complex formation of the cyclin protein subunits with the cyclin-dependent kinase 4 that stimulates cell cycle progression during the G 1 phase. amplification also has been identified in 20% of clinical breast cancers.104 The MIB-1 clone has proved to be a reliable marker of proliferating cells in a large variety of human neoplasms. S (part) AgNOR. consistent with the findings of previous studies performed by immunohistochemical analysis. ×100). Although neither the American Society of Clinical Oncology80 nor the College of American Pathologists81 guidelines include Ki-67 labeling. G2/M (part) S S (part).107 Cyclin D expression has been linked to the expression of the estrogen receptor79 and the transition from in situ to invasive ductal breast cancer. © American Society for Clinical Pathology ❚Image 5❚ Cell proliferation measured by Ki-67 (MIB-1) immunostaining. G2. paraffin-embedded tissue samples with the original Ki-67 antibody led to the discovery of the MIB-1 clone capable of measuring cell proliferation in processed tissue samples. high levels of the low-molecularweight isoforms of cyclin E. In addition to studies revealing amplification of cyclin D1 in experimental breast cancer cell lines. Cell Cycle Regulators A variety of cell cycle regulators active at the G1/S and G2/M phases have been implicated as prognostic factors in breast cancer. moreover. G2 G1. the results of studies to correlate MIB-1 expression with disease outcome have varied in the literature. bcl-1) is a gene localized to chromosome 11q13.120(Suppl 1):S72-S84 DOI: 10. gastrointestinal tract. MIB-1 immunostaining ❚Image 5❚ has become the most frequently used technique to measure cell proliferation. M (part) G1 (part) G1 (part). and prostate and soft tissue sarcomas. G2/M (part) G1.105 In summary.90 while others have found substantial correlation. levels of total cyclin E also were highly correlative with poor outcome. M (part) G1. S. Cyclin D Cyclin D1 (PRAD1. correlated strongly with decreased disease-specific survival110.109 Large-scale studies validating the prognostic significance of cyclin D overexpression in breast cancer have not been published to date.100-102 Ki-67 MIB-1 Immunostaining Problems with reproducibility in the staining of formalin-fixed.96-99 Ki-67 labeling has been shown to correlate with tumor grade in cancers of the breast. S. Cyclin E In a recent study. between immunohistochemical staining for Ki-67 and thymidine and bromodeoxyuridine labeling indices.86.91. cell proliferation measurements seem to feature a greater incidence of statistically significant correlation with breast cancer outcome on both univariate and multivariate analyses than DNA ploidy alone.105 Some studies have failed to link MIB-1 expression rates with prognosis. silver-staining nucleolar organizing region.1309/QD096UGF70T5H46G . many laboratories provide this testing at the request of oncologists for use in planning the treatment of breast cancer.Ross et al / DNA PLOIDY AND CELL CYCLE ANALYSIS IN BREAST CANCER ❚Table 6❚ ❚ Markers of the Cell Cycle Cell Cycle Marker Mitosis counting Tritiated thymidine uptake Bromodeoxyuridine labeling Flow cytometry Image analysis Ki-67 (fresh. proliferating cell nuclear antigen. However.92-95 as well as with flow cytometric determinations of the S-phase fraction.103. Note the high (>50%) nuclear staining of this rapidly proliferating infiltrating ductal adenocarcinoma (peroxidase/antiperoxidase. G2/M S. S. G2. breast.111 Confirmatory data for cyclin E as a prognostic marker in primary breast cancer is necessary before formal recommendations can be made. measured by Western blot analysis. kidney.85 In breast cancer.91. S. frozen tissue) Ki-67 MIB-1 (paraffin) PCNA (paraffin) p105 (paraffin) AgNOR (paraffin) Cyclins A B D E Cell Cycle Phase(s) Detected M S S S (calculated) S (estimated) G1. including cancers of the lung. S80 S80 Am J Clin Pathol 2003.

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