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October 1991

In Vivo Measurement of Breast Cancer Growth Rate

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery (Dr Goodson), Pathology (Dr Ljung), Laboratory Medicine (Drs Waldman, Mayall, and Goldman and Ms Chew), and Internal Medicine (Dr Benz), University of California San Francisco; Geraldine Brush Cancer Research Institute of Pacific Presbyterian Medical Center, San Francisco (Dr Smith); and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Livermore, Calif (Dr Moore).

Arch Surg. 1991;126(10):1220-1224. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1991.01410340062009

• S-phase cells of 66 primary breast cancers were labeled in vivo by preoperative infusion of the thymidine analogue bromodeoxyuridine. A monoclonal antibody specific for DNA-incorporated bromodeoxyuridine was used to identify positive cells and compute a labeling index on histologic sections. The labeling index (the percentage of cells in S-phase) ranged from 0.1% to 23.9%; it correlated positively with poorly differentiated cancer, higher mitotic counts on routine histologic examination, and tumor size; and it correlated inversely with estrogen and progesterone receptors. The labeling index did not correlate with nodal involvement or ploidy. Of the 15 patients with a labeling index greater than 12%, three died and one had systemic disease after a median follow-up of 19 months. No other patients had recurrences. There were no clinical complications of bromodeoxyuridine infusion.

(Arch Surg. 1991;126:1220-1224)