The DNA-instability test as a specific marker of malignancy and its application to detect cancer clones in borderline malignancy
AbstractRecent progress in cytogenetic and biochemical mutator assay technologies has enabled us to detect single gene alterations and gross chromosomal rearrangements, and it became clear that all cancer cells are genetically unstable. In order to detect the genome-wide instability of cancer cells, a new simple method, the DNA-instability test, was developed. The methods to detect genomic instability so far reported have only demonstrated the presence of qualitative and quantitative alterations in certain specific genomic loci. In contrast to these commonly used methods to reveal the genomic instability at certain specific DNA regions, the newly introduced DNA-instability test revealed the presence of physical DNA-instability in the entire DNA molecule of a cancer cell nucleus as revealed by increased liability to denature upon HCl hydrolysis or formamide exposure. When this test was applied to borderline malignancies, cancer clones were detected in all cases at an early-stage of cancer progression. We proposed a new concept of “procancer” clones to define those cancer clones with “functional atypia” showing positivities for various cancer markers, as well as DNA-instability testing, but showing no remarkable ordinary “morphological atypia” which is commonly used as the basis of histopathological diagnosis of malignancy.
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