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Intratumoral DNA content heterogeneity in breast carcinomas demonstrated by core punch tissue sampling and flow cytometry
  1. Zhouwei Zhang1,
  2. Donald L Weaver1,2,
  3. Kavita Munjal3,
  4. Mark F Evans1,2
  1. 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  2. 2The University of Vermont Cancer Center, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont, USA
  3. 3Department of Pathology, Sri Aurobindo Institute of Medical Sciences, Indore, Madhya Pradesh, India
  1. Correspondence to Dr Mark F Evans, Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Vermont, 89 Beaumont Avenue, Burlington, VT 05405, USA; mark.evans{at}uvm.edu

Abstract

Further to advancements in instrumentation and fluorescent dye technologies, there has been a resurgence of interest in the flow cytometric assay of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded specimens. Here we present a novel, simple and effective alternative to whole block sectioning that allows selective multisampling of tissues within a specimen block and the investigation of intratumoral heterogeneity. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded breast carcinoma specimens were core-punched using 1.0 mm diameter needles and assayed by flow cytometry using a modified Hedley method. Intratumoral heterogeneity for DNA index and per cent S-phase fraction was detected in 10 of 23 (44%) and 11 of 23 (47%) specimens respectively. Macro-level genomic heterogeneity is common in breast cancer even within a single surgical specimen block. Studies investigating the relationship of DNA content heterogeneity to other markers of genomic instability such as mutations, deletions, insertions and translocations are warranted.

  • Breast Cancer
  • Flow Cytometry
  • DNA
  • Methodology
  • Ploidy

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