Cell kinetics holds a prominent role among biological factors in predicting clinical outcome and response to treatment in neoplastic patients. Different cell kinetic variables are often considered as valid alternatives to each other, but the limited size of case series analysed in several studies and the lack of simultaneous determinations of all the variables on the same tumours do not justify this conclusion. In the present study, the correlation between [3H]thymidine labelling index ([3H]dT LI), flow cytometric S phase cell fraction (FCM-S) and Ki-67 immunoreactivity (Ki-67/MIB-1) was verified and the type of correlation with the most important clinical, pathological and biological patient and tumour characteristics was investigated in a very large series of breast cancer patients. Ki-67/MIB-1, FCM-S and [3H]dT LI were determined in 609, 526 and 485 patients, respectively, and all three cell proliferation indices were evaluated in parallel on the same tumour in a series of 330 breast cancer patients. All the cell kinetic determinations were performed within the context of National Quality Control Programmes. Very poor correlation coefficients (ranging from 0.37 to 0.18) were observed between the different cell kinetic variables determined in parallel on the same series of breast cancers. Moreover, Ki-67/MIB-1 and FCM-S showed a significant relationship with histological type, grade and tumour size, whereas statistically significant correlations were not observed for [3H]dT LI. In conclusion, the results show that the different cell kinetic variables provide different biological information and cannot be considered as alternatives to each other.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cell Biology