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Epidemiologic studies of childhood leukemia have made limited use of tumor genetic characteristics, which may be related to disease etiology. We characterized the cytogenetics of 543 childhood leukemia patients (0-14 years of age) enrolled in the Northern California Childhood Leukemia Study, an approximately population-based study comprised primarily of Hispanics (42%) and non-Hispanic Whites (41%), and compared the cytogenetic profiles between these two ethnic groups. Subjects were classified by immunophenotype, conventional cytogenetic characteristics, and fluorescence in situ hybridization findings. The ploidy levels most frequently observed among acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients were high hyperdiploidy (51-67 chromosomes) and pseudodiploidy (34% and 27%, respectively). No ethnic differences in the frequency of 11q23/MLL rearrangements were observed between Hispanics and non-Hispanic Whites. Among B-lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia patients, the percentage of TEL-AML1 translocations was significantly lower in Hispanics (13%) than in non-Hispanic Whites (24%; P = 0.01). This is the first time that this ethnic variation has been observed in a large number of patients in a defined geographic region, which is consistent with findings from smaller international studies. The mechanistic basis for this 2-fold variation in frequency of TEL-AML1 may be due to ethnic-specific risk factors or genetics and should be explored further.
OBJECTIVE - The prognostic value of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ploidy in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is not well-defined among modern surgical nephrectomy series. We sought to determine which variables correlated with overall survival and recurrence-free survival in the modern era.
METHODS - We reviewed all patients from 1992 to 2000, who prospectively had DNA ploidy analysis of their primary tumor determined at the time of nephrectomy for nonmetastatic RCC. Variables examined included age, gender, ethnicity, presentation (incidental vs. symptomatic), preoperative laboratory studies, American Society for Anesthesiology class, tumor size, tumor-nodes-metastasis stage, histology, Fuhrman grade, and diploid versus nondiploid tumor. Statistical analyses of overall survival and recurrence-free survival were performed using the Kaplan-Meier method, log-rank test, and Cox regression model using commercially available software.
RESULTS - Sixty men and 41 women, median age 61 years (range, 23-85), were included. Pathologic stage included T1 (54 patients), T2 (14), and T3 (33). Eighty-four patients had conventional RCC. A total of 58 patients had well-differentiated (Fuhrman Grade 1  or Grade 2 ), 28 had moderately differentiated (Grade 3), 12 had poorly differentiated tumors (Grade 4), and 3 were not specified. There were 52 patients who had diploid tumors, and 49 had aneuploid tumors. Median follow-up was 39 months (range, 0-109). Actuarial 5-year overall survival was 70%, and 5-year recurrence-free survival was 76%. Diploid tumors were significantly associated with better recurrence-free survival (P = 0.02) but not overall survival (P = 0.17). On multivariate analysis, the American Society for Anesthesiology class (P = 0.01), abnormal preoperative platelet count (P = 0.03), and tumor differentiation (P = 0.01) were independent predictors of overall survival, whereas only tumor differentiation (P = 0.05) was an independent predictor of recurrence-free survival.
CONCLUSIONS - In the modern era, DNA ploidy is not an independent predictor of either overall survival or recurrence-free survival in patients with nonmetastatic RCC. The most important predictor of recurrence-free survival is tumor differentiation.
PURPOSE - We conducted a historic cohort study to test the hypothesis that, after adjustment for biologic factors, African-American (AA) children and Spanish surname (SS) children with newly diagnosed B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia had lower survival than did comparable white children.
PATIENTS AND METHODS - From 1981 to 1994, 4,061 white, 518 AA, and 507 SS children aged 1 to 20 years were treated on three successive Pediatric Oncology Group multicenter randomized clinical trials.
RESULTS - AA and SS patients were more likely to have adverse prognostic features at diagnosis and lower survival than were white patients. The 5-year cumulative survival rates were (probability +/- SE) 81.9% +/- 0.6%, 68.6% +/- 2.1%, and 74.9% +/- 2.0% for white, AA, and SS children, respectively. Adjusting for age, leukocyte count, sex, era of treatment, and leukemia blast cell ploidy, we found that AA children had a 42% excess mortality rate compared with white children (proportional hazards ratio [PHR] = 1.42; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.12 to 1. 80), and SS children had a 33% excess mortality rate compared with white children (PHR = 1.33; 95% CI, 1.19 to 1.49).
CONCLUSION - Clinical presentation, tumor biology, and deviations from prescribed therapy did not explain the differences in survival and event-free survival that we observed, although differences seem to be diminishing over time with improvements in therapy. The disparity in outcome for AA and SS children is most likely related to variations in chemotherapeutic response to therapy and not to compliance. Further improvements in outcome may require individualized dosing based on specific pharmacogenetic profiles, especially for AA and SS children.
We report here the establishment and characterization of a corpus cavernosum cell line (DS-1) from human penile tissue. This is the first cell line of its type derived from cavernosum tissue. DS-1 cells have become immortalized in culture, and show growth in monolayers. These cells have a doubling time of about 45 h in in vitro culture. Cytogenetic analysis by G-banding demonstrated a diploid karyotype with a model chromosome number of 46. The chromosome constitution of DS-1 cells was found to be male (XY), in 28/30 cells scored. Two of the 30 cells showed an extra structurally rearranged "marker" chromosome, that appeared to be a derivative of chromosome 18 with excessive chromosome on the short arm. Ploidy analysis revealed that the majority of DS-1 cells had a DNA index of one. About 35% cells were found to be in G-1 phase and 52% cells in S phase. Light and electron microscopy of DS-1 cells and original penile tissue showed typical characteristics of this tissue. Immunocytochemistry studies using antibodies to smooth muscle actin, desmin, vimentin and cytokeratin (LP34, CAM5.2) showed that the DS-1 cell line had predominantly smooth muscle cells, as these cells were positive for smooth muscle actin, desmin and vimentin.
Cultures from metastatic melanomas of 15 patients had detailed melanoma growth stimulatory activity (MGSA) and cytogenetic analysis. The presence of melanoma cells was confirmed by microscopic identification of melanin, tyrosinase activity, and electron microscopy characterization of melanosomes. The MGSA is found in cytoplasmic granules after immunocytochemical stain. Three of the cultures did not produce MGSA and showed no distinctive cytogenetic differences. Breakpoints in derivative chromosomes were concentrated in region 1p1, and among all cultures chromosome 1 was the most frequently rearranged. It also has a low copy number of normal homologs. Chromosomes 18, X, and Y were never derivative, and chromosomes 2 and 4 were rarely so. Thus the cytogenetic data indicate that 4q13-21, the hybridization site for MGSA cDNA, is spared from gross change, although it could be under the influence of another site on chromosome 1 that is lost or rearranged. The ratio of abnormal to normal autosomes (mean per cell) in no culture exceeded 0.5, and for no autosome exceeded 0.8, suggesting a limit to the rearrangement tolerated for cell survival. If the Y is retained, the X:Y ratio varies around a normal figure of 1. The ratio of autosomes to sex chromosomes varies around a normal figure of 22. These data suggest stability of the X chromosome in cells undergoing multiple rearrangements of the autosomes.