Nephroblastoma. DNA characteristics and their modifications induced by prenephrectomy chemotherapy: A cytofluorimetric study

Francesca Diomedi Camassei, Cristiano Ferlini, Alessandro Jenkner, Cesare Bosman, Roberto Biselli, Alberto Donfrancesco, Renata Boldrini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Treatment of nephroblastoma (Wilms' tumor) has presently achieved a 90% survival rate. Stage and grade are considered the most reliable prognostic parameters, but other biological factors are under study in order to improve patient stratification. Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) ploidy has been suggested to be useful in this setting. We retrospectively studied 79 patients with nephroblastoma (58 pretreated with chemotherapy and 21 not pretreated) by means of flow cytometry. DNA content and synthetic phase values were correlated with pathologic features and outcome. DNA modifications induced by chemotherapy were investigated. Sixty-nine tumors were diploid and 10 aneuploid. DNA content did not correlate with clinical course and was not modified by pretreatment. Aneuploid tumors were restricted to lower stages. Mean S-phase rate was lower and did not vary according to histology in pretreated tumors, while it was higher and increased with grade (p = 0.007) in previously untreated tumors. The fraction of cells in synthetic activity was related to outcome: Patients whose tumors displayed higher S-phase rates had a more favorable clinical course. Ploidy did not appear to be of prognostic significance. S-phase rate decreased after chemotherapy (p = 0.0002) and was related to survival. The worse outcome of pretreated patients might be attributed to a minor sensitivity to postoperative treatment: Preoperative chemotherapy would decrease the cell proliferation and might select resistant cellular clones of (possible) neoplastic residues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-23
Number of pages9
JournalPediatric Pathology and Molecular Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2002


  • Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) characteristics
  • Nephroblastoma
  • Outcome
  • Ploidy
  • Preoperative chemotherapy
  • S-phase fraction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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