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DNA ploidy; the most important prognostic factor in patients with borderline tumors of the ovary
  1. J. Kaern,
  2. C. G. TropÉ,
  3. G. B. Kristensen,
  4. V. M. Abeler* and
  5. E. O. Pettersen
  1. * Departments of Gynecologic Oncology, Pathology and
  2. Tissue Culture, Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, 0310 Oslo 3, Norway
  1. Address for correspondence: Dr Janne Kaern, Department of Gynecologic Oncology, The Norwegian Radium Hospital, Montebello, 0310 Oslo 3, Norway.


The prognostic significance of DNA ploidy in relation to clinical and histopathologic factors was evaluated in a retrospective study of 370 patients treated at the Norwegian Radium Hospital from 1970 to 1982 with complete follow-up of median 149 months. Evaluable flow cytometric DNA histograms from paraffin-embedded tissue from the primary tumor were obtained in 321 cases, 293 (91%) were diploid and 28 (9%) were aneuploid. Aneuploidy was associated with older age, more advanced disease and non-serous histologic types. By multivariate analysis the only parameters with prognostic significance for corrected survival (death from disease) were ploidy, stage, histologic type and age. The patients with aneuploid tumors had a 19-fold increased risk of dying of disease compared with patients with diploid tumors. In tumor-free operated patients the extent of surgery had no influence on survival, neither had postoperative treatment. Using the prognostic factors the patients could be divided into risk groups. The large group of patients with diploid stage I tumors belonged to the low risk group. Fertility-saving operations can be offered to patients with diploid stage IA tumors, all others should have bilateral salpingo-oophorectomy and omentectomy with or without hysterectomy. Patients with diploid stage I tumors should not receive adjuvant treatment. The value of adjuvant chemotherapy in the high risk group needs further investigation.

  • borderline tumors
  • DNA ploidy
  • flow cytometry
  • ovary
  • prognostic factors.

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