DNA content and histologic growth pattern correlate with prognosis in patients with advanced squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx

J. M. Truelson, S. G. Fisher, T. E. Beals, K. D. McClatchey, G. T. Wolf, Ki Hong Waun Ki Hong, G. T. Wolf, S. Urba, J. W. Endicott, L. Close, S. R. Fisher, R. J. Toohill, D. Karp, D. Miller, N. K. Cheung, A. Weaver, A. D. Hillel, M. Spaulding, B. K. Chang

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57 Scopus citations


Background. Alterations in DNA content, nuclear morphologic characteristics, and histologic grading have been associated with prognosis in several types of solid malignant neoplasms. Methods. To determine the potential usefulness of these factors in predicting tumor behavior in patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma, tumor specimens from 88 previously untreated patients with Stage III or IV cancers were studied. The DNA content and nuclear area (NA) were measured for individual nuclei of each tumor with the use of Azure A-stained frozen sections. An adjusted DNA index (aDI) for each patient was calculated from the slope of the linear regression analysis of nuclear DNA index on NA. Hematoxylin and eosin-stained sections were examined and graded systematically for histologic growth pattern. All patients were enrolled in a prospective clinical trial and had laryngectomy and postoperative radiation therapy. Results. The disease-free survival length was longer and the relapse rates were lower in patients with a low aDI (P < 0.005) and with tumors exhibiting low-grade growth patterns (P < 0.001). Conclusions. These parameters were independent of staging variables and were better predictors of tumor relapse than traditional clinical staging classifications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)56-62
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1992



  • cancer
  • DNA content
  • DNA index
  • larynx
  • nuclear area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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