Increased chromosomal instability in peripheral lymphocytes and risk of human gliomas

Randa El-Zein, Melissa L. Bondy, Li E. Wang, Mariza De Andrade, Alice J. Sigurdson, Janet M. Bruner, Athanassios P. Kyritsis, Victor A. Levin, Qingyi Wei

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15 Scopus citations


Brain tumors exhibit considerable chromosome instability (CIN), suggesting that genetic susceptibility may contribute to brain tumorigenesis. To test this hypothesis, in this pilot study, we examined for CIN in short-term lymphocyte cultures from 25 adult glioma patients and 28 age-, sex- and ethnicity-matched healthy controls (all Caucasian). We evaluated CIN by a multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization assay using two probes: a classic satellite probe for a large heterochromatin breakage-prone region of chromosome 1 and an alpha satellite probe for a smaller region adjacent to the heterochromatin probe. Our results showed a significant increase in the mean number of spontaneous breaks per 1000 cells in glioma patients (mean ± SD, 2.4 ± 0.8) compared with controls (1.4 ± 0.9; P < 0.001). By using the median number of breaks per 1000 cells in the controls as the cutoff value, we observed a crude odds ratio (OR) of 8.5 [95% confidence interval (CI) = 2.05-34.9, P < 0.001] for spontaneous breaks and brain tumor risk. After adjustment for age, sex and smoking status, the adjusted OR was 15.3 (95% CI, 2.71-87.8). A significant increase in cells with chromosome 1 aneuploidy (in the form of hyperdiploidy) (P < 0.001) was also observed in the glioma cases, with an adjusted OR of 6.6 (95% CI 1.5-30, P < 0.05). These findings suggest that CIN can be detected in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of brain tumor patients and may be a marker for identifying individuals at risk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)811-815
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research


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