Quantitative DNA measurement by flow cytometry and image analysis of human nonseminomatous germ cell testicular tumors

W. de Riese, E. B. Walker, C. de Riese, T. M. Ulbright, W. N. Crabtree, J. Messemer, J. A. Jones, A. Hinkel, R. S. Foster, J. P. Donohue, T. Senge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Current clinical staging, which includes the use of serum tumor markers and imaging techniques, fails to identify the 30-40% of clinical stage I (CS I) nonseminomatous germ cell testicular tumor (NSGCT) patients who have occult metastatic disease. Therefore, there is a real clinical need to evaluate new biological parameters of the primary tumor that might be useful as predictors of occult metastatic disease. This study was undertaken to compare quantitative DNA measurements by flow cytometry and image analysis in CS I NSGCT, and to analyze the relevance of these parameters for predicting occult lymph node involvement. Different blocks of formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded NSGCTs of 62 CS I patients who underwent retroperitoneal lymph node dissection between 1985 and 1989 were prepared according to the Hedley technique, and analyzed by quantitative cytometry. Thirty-six (58.1%) patients had histologically proven lymph node involvement (pathological stage II), whereas 26 (41.9%) patients (pathological stage I) had neither lymph node metastases according to retroperitoneal lymph node dissection (RPLND) specimens nor tumor recurrence during follow-up. Concordant results were found in 76.5% of the samples by both cytometric techniques. For flow cytometry, the percentages of aneuploid cells in the S- and the G2M+S-phase were the most robust predictive parameters for lymph node involvement, whereas for image analysis the 5c exceeding rate (5cER) had the most predictive significance. Based on the experience obtained in this study, both cytometric techniques provide additional information on tumor aggressiveness that might be useful in therapeutic selection of early stage NSGCT patients for either RPLND or surveillance only.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-220
Number of pages8
JournalUrological Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 1994


  • DNA content
  • Flow cytometry
  • Image analysis
  • Testicular cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology

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