Nuclear DNA ploidy studies were performed by flow cytometry on extracted nuclei from 12 oncocytic tumours of the salivary gland, 65 oncocytic tumours of the kidney, and 37 oncocytic tumours of the thyroid gland from the pathology archives of the Mayo Clinic. In order to provide an interesting clinical spectrum, three different classes of well-differentiated oncocytic tumours were selected for examination. Salivary gland oncocytic tumours were chosen for their generally benign behaviour. Oncocytic thyroid cancers exhibiting malignant potential because of local invasion, were thought to represent the opposite extreme of aggressiveness. Renal oncocytic tumours were known to demonstrate an intermediate degree of malignancy. All of the oncocytic salivary gland tumours showed a 'normal' DNA histogram and had a benign clinical course. For the oncocytic tumours of the kidney, 45% of DNA histograms were normal, 40% exhibited a significant increase in the DNA tetraploid/polyploid (4C) peak, and 15% showed a DNA aneuploid peak. Three patients with a DNA tetraploid pattern developed tumour metastasis and two have died from metastatic renal cancer. Among the oncocytic thyroid cancers, 27% were normal, 22% exhibited an increased DNA tetraploid peak, and 51% had a distinct DNA aneuploid peak. None of the thyroid tumour patients with a normal DNA pattern or with an increased DNA tetraploid peak died as a result of thyroid malignancy. In contrast, 58% of patients whose thyroid tumours showed a DNA aneuploid peak subsequently died from thyroid cancer.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research