Limited prognostic value of cellular DNA content to classical and morphometrical parameters in invasive ductal breast cancer

A. M. Uyterlinde, N. W. Schipper, J. P.A. Baak, H. Peterse, E. Matze

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This retrospective study evaluates several prognostic factors in 63 patients with invasive ductal breast cancer. Special attention is paid to the additional prognostic value of cellular DNA content to the previously developed and evaluated quantitative features mitotic activity index (MAI) and multivariate morphometric prognostic index (MPI). Follow-up was monitored for at least 50 months (median survival, 78 months) and only patients who died of distant metastases were included. The results show that the MAI is the strongest prognostic factor of all single features (Mantel-Cox, P=0.008). Although patients with a diploid or tetraploid tumor tended to have a better prognosis than those with an aneuploid cancer, the DNA index as a single parameter was a weak prognosticator in the univariate survival analysis (Mantel-Cox, P = 0.24). Within the diploid and tetraploid tumors the MAI could distinguish patients with a favorable and unfavorable prognosis prediction (chi-square, P = 0.01). For aneuploid tumors this was not possible. Analysis of combined features revealed that the MPI has a high prognostic value (Mantel-Cox, P = 0.0015), thus confirming other studies. A linear combination of the nuclear DNA index, MAI, nodal status, and mean nuclear area showed only a slight improvement in prognosis prediction compared with the MPI (Mantel-Cox, P=0.0005); with this rule, the classification of the patients was more in agreement with the actual outcome in 4% of the cases. The gain was in the poor prognosis group. These results suggest that the additional prognostic value of nuclear DNA content is restricted when compared with the morphometric prognostic factors. Further studies on a larger number of patients are required to confirm these findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)301-307
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Clinical Pathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988

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