Eighty one cases of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma were examined by DNA flow cytometry, using fixed embedded histological tissue. The frequency of detection of DNA aneuploidy and the values for S phase fractions depended on the histological subtype and grade of lymphoma. Twenty two of the patients with low grade centroblastic/centrocytic non-Hodgkin's lymphoma had repeat biopsies. Eleven of these patients remained histologically and cytometrically stable, but the remaining eleven transformed into high grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. The mean value for the S phase fraction in the initial biopsy specimens from patients which transformed was higher than that for patients whose lymphomas remained stable (p less than 0.001). It is proposed that estimates of S phase fraction prospectively identify patients with low grade non-Hodgkin's lymphoma at risk from transformation.
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