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Latent chromosomal instability in cancer patients

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There is increasing evidence that, similar to what is found with other genetic disorders, genomic instability is one of the most general features of cancer. Different forms of manifestation including latent instability have been suggested. To recognize latent chromosomal instability we treated lymphocyte cultures of cancer patients and healthy persons with caffeine, two different doses of bleomycin, and a combination of bleomycin and caffeine. The preliminary results demonstrate that, although the rate of spontaneous chromosomal aberrations is similar in both investigated groups, the lymphocytes of cancer patients display an increased susceptibility to treatment with bleomycin and caffeine. In distinguishing between healthy individuals and those with malignancy, treatment with 30 μg/ml bleomycin appears to be most important. Values of chromosomal change above one break per cell, more than 45% cells with chromosomal alterations, and more that two cells with chromosomal rearrangements are suggestive of malignancy These findings imply that treatment of lymphocyte cultures with bleomycin and caffeine could be a useful assay for monitoring chromosomal instability, and thus detecting a predisposition to malignant disease. In this respect further investigations on a greater amount of material should be performed.

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Received: 18 July 1995 / Revised: 25 June 1996

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Tzancheva, M., Komitowski, D. Latent chromosomal instability in cancer patients. Hum Genet 99, 47–51 (1996). https://doi.org/10.1007/s004390050309

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  • Cancer Patient
  • Caffeine
  • Healthy Individual
  • General Feature
  • Genetic Disorder