Clone heterogeneity in diploid and aneuploid breast carcinomas as detected by FISH

Fulvia Farabegoli, Donatella Santini, Claudio Ceccarelli, Mario Taffurelli, Domenico Marrano, Nicola Baldini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We investigated the relationship between DNA ploidy and alterations in chromosomes 1, 8, 12, 16, 17, and 18 in 63 breast carcinoma samples by static cytofluorometry and fluorescence in situ hybridization. Thirty specimens were diploid and 33 were aneuploid. In aneuploid samples, the DNA index value ranged from 1.3 to 3.1, with a main peak near tetraploid values. Diploid clones were present in 21 of 33 aneuploid specimens. Fluorescence in situ hybridization analysis showed a heterogeneous degree of alterations in diploid specimens: one sample was normal, 16 samples had one to three chromosome alterations involving mostly chromosomes 1, 16, and 17, and 13 samples an even higher degree of alterations. The 33 aneuploid specimens showed a very high number of signals (four, five, or more). All the investigated chromosomes were affected in 23 of 33 specimens. Alterations in chromosomes 1 and 17 were detected to a similar percentage in diploid and aneuploid samples, whereas chromosome 16 monosomy was more frequent in diploid samples. Overrepresentation of chromosomes 8, 12, 16, and 18 was significantly higher in aneuploid than in diploid samples. Based on these results, we suggest that diploid and aneuploid breast carcinomas are genetically related. Chromosome 1 and 17 alterations and chromosome 16 monosomy are early changes. Allelic and chromosomal accumulations occur during progression of breast carcinoma by different mechanisms. The high clone heterogeneity found in 17 of 33 aneuploid samples could not be completely explained by endoreduplication and led to the suggestion that chromosomal instability concurs with aneuploidy development. This different evolutionary pathway might be clinically relevant because clone heterogeneity might cause metastasis development and resistance to therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)50-56
Number of pages7
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 15 2001


  • Aneuploidy
  • Breast carcinoma
  • Chromosomes
  • Fluorescence in situ hybridization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Biophysics
  • Endocrinology


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