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Sister chromatid exchanges in patients with precancerous and cancerous lesions of cervix uteri


The frequency of sister chromatid exchanges (SCEs) was studied in leucocytes from 46 patients with cervical carcinoma, 89 precancerous lesions, and 43 age-matched control women. The frequency of SCEs was found to be 10.15 ±2.49 in cancer, 8.83±2.15 in precancerous lesions, and 7.55±2.24 in controls. The analyses of SCE data revealed a highly significant (P<0.001) increase in precancerous and cancerous lesions compared to controls. The intra-chromosomal distribution of SCEs revealed a random increase in various chromosomal groups in patients with cancer and dysplasia compared to controls. The mean SCE level among various groups of precancerous lesions according to severity of pathological condition did not show significant differences. However, 70.8% of dysplasia cases revealed SCE levels higher than the average in controls. The increased frequencies of SCEs in the majority of cancer patients and a few, precancerous lesions indicate that individuals with high SCE levels may be at a high risk of developing cancer. Thus the usefulness of SCE levels as a preclinical marker to identify the high risk group of dysplasias needs to be ascertained by follow-up studies; these are in progress.

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Correspondence to V. V. V. S. Murty.

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Murty, V.V.V.S., Mitra, A.B., Luthra, U.K. et al. Sister chromatid exchanges in patients with precancerous and cancerous lesions of cervix uteri. Hum Genet 72, 37–42 (1986).

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  • Carcinoma
  • Metabolic Disease
  • Pathological Condition
  • Risk Group
  • High Risk Group