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DNA Aneuploidy, S-phase fraction, nuclear p53 positivity, and survival in non-small-cell lung carcinoma


 Inactivation of the p53 gene plays a key role in tumour biology, probably through a disturbed cell cycle control and an increased genetic instability in p53-inactivated tumours. To learn more about the relationship between p53 alterations, proliferation and genetic instability (DNA aneuploidy) in lung cancer patients, specimens of 220 surgically resected lung carcinomas with clinical follow-up information were examined by immunohistochemistry (p53; CM1) and flow cytometry. Nuclear p53 positivity – found in 49.5% of the tumours – was associated with both high S-phase fraction (SPF) and DNA ploidy aberrations. SPF was higher in p53-positive tumours (15.9 ± 10.2) than in p53-negative tumours (10.3 ± 8.7; P = 0.03). The rate of p53 positivity was higher in 101 DNA-aneuploid and DNA-multiploid tumours (55%) than in 27 diploid and peridiploid carcinomas (33%; P = 0.0512). These results are consistent with an in vivo role of p53 inactivation for increased proliferative activity and development of genomic instability in lung cancer. There was no association between SPF and prognosis. Although prognosis was worse in DNA-aneuploid and multiploid tumours than in diploid, peridiploid and tetraploid carcinomas (P = 0.029), DNA ploidy was not an independent predictor of poor prognosis in multivariate analysis. These data show that DNA-flow cytometry has little prognostic value for patients with resected non-small-cell lung carcinoma.

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Received: 18 February 1997 / Accepted: 25 March 1997

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Dalquen, P., Moch, H., Feichter, G. et al. DNA Aneuploidy, S-phase fraction, nuclear p53 positivity, and survival in non-small-cell lung carcinoma. Virchows Archiv 431, 173–179 (1997).

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  • Key words Non-small-cell lung cancer
  • DNA aneuploidy
  • S-phase fraction p53 Nuclear overexpression
  • Prognosis