[Skip to Navigation]
July 1990

The Importance of DNA Flow Cytometry in Node-Negative Breast Cancer

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Drs D. J. Winchester, D. P. Winchester, and Duda, and Ms Wruck), Pathology (Drs August and Goldschmidt), and Medical Oncology (Drs Rademaker and Merkel), Northwestern University and Evanston (Ill) Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1990;125(7):886-889. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1990.01410190084013

• DNA flow cytometric analysis and conventional clinical factors were compared with disease outcome in 257 patients with node-negative infiltrating ductal carcinoma who had been treated between 1976 and 1983. Median follow-up was 80 months; none of the patients received adjuvant therapy. The relative prognostic importance of clinical variables, ploidy, and S-phase fraction was analyzed by Cox multivariate analysis. Ploidy was analyzable for 198 tumors and did not predict survival. Nuclear grade predicted disease-free survival for all patients. For 71 patients with diploid tumors, only high S-phase had a statistically significant association with relapse. For 127 patients with aneuploid tumors, tumor diameter predicted both disease-free survival and cancer death; histologic grade was also significant for predicting disease-free survival. In conclusion, flow cytometric determination of ploidy and S-phase fraction can provide valuable predictive information in node-negative breast cancer in addition to conventional variables.

(Arch Surg. 1990;125:886-889)