Krishan, A. et al. Detection of tumor cells in body cavity fluids by flow cytometric and immuncytochemical analysis. Diagn. Cytopathol. 34, 528-541

Department of Pathology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.
Diagnostic Cytopathology (Impact Factor: 1.12). 08/2006; 34(8):528-41. DOI: 10.1002/dc.20496
Source: PubMed


Measurement of electronic volume versus DNA content of nuclei can be used to discriminate between normal and malignant cells. Epithelial membrane antigen immunocytochemistry (EMA-ICC), a helpful ancillary test in body cavity fluids, is not universally accurate for detecting malignancy in effusions. The current study was undertaken to determine if multiparametric flow cytometry (based on simultaneous analysis of light scatter, nuclear volume, DNA, and nuclear protein content) in combination with (EMA-ICC) could be used for the detection of malignant cells in peritoneal and pleural fluids. We studied 130 body cavity fluids (68 peritoneal and 62 pleural fluids) by conventional cytology and multiparametric laser flow cytometry. EMA-ICC was performed using EMA antibodies and L-SAB detection system (DakoCytomation, Carpinteria, CA). EMA-ICC had significantly higher sensitivity than conventional cytology (79% versus 59%, P = 0.016) and ploidy (79% versus 38%, P = 0.001). Cytology had significantly higher specificity than ploidy (97% versus 82%, P = 0.012). The differences in specificity between EMA-ICC and ploidy (87% versus 82%, P= 0.607) or EMA-ICC and cytology (87% versus 97%, P = 0.109) were not statistically significant. However, assuming serial testing, sensitivity increased significantly for the combinations of cytology and EMA-ICC (79.4%, P = 0.016) and cytology and ploidy (73.5%, P = 0.004) as compared to cytology alone (58.8%). Also, the combination of cytology and ploidy had a higher sensitivity than ploidy alone (73% versus 38%, P < 0.0001). However, the sensitivity associated with the three tests used in serial (85.3%) was not significantly different from the sensitivities corresponding to the combination of cytology and EMA-ICC (79%) or cytology and ploidy (73%). Multiparametric flow cytometry utilizing high resolution DNA, nuclear volume, protein measurement, and ICC, in combination with cytomorphology, may be a valuable tool for rapid identification of malignant cells in body cavity fluids.

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    ABSTRACT: Flow cytometry (FCM) immunophenotyping is frequently used as an ancillary technique for the diagnosis of hematological malignancies or for measurement of DNA content. In recent years, we applied FCM to the diagnosis of metastatic adenocarcinoma and malignant mesothelioma in effusions. We established a panel of antibodies that allows for rapid and effective differentiation between epithelial cells, mesothelial cells, and leukocytes. FCM was subsequently used for quantitative analysis of integrin subunits. Recently, we studied different parameters of the immune response, including HLA molecules and chemokine receptors, using this method. Our data suggest that FCM is an effective method for the characterization of cancer cells in clinical effusion specimens in both the diagnostic and research setting, and that this method is comparable to immunohistochemistry in terms of sensitivity and specificity, with the additional advantage of providing quantitative data. This review discusses previous work in this area and the future potential of this method in the characterization of tumor cells in serous effusions.
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    ABSTRACT: Data regarding the role of flow cytometry (FCM) in the characterization of malignant effusions are limited to date. In the present study, we optimized the conditions for FCM immunphenotyping of effusions using a four-color analysis and investigated aspects related to the advantages and limitations of this method in this setting. FCM analysis optimization for the study of epithelial cells was undertaken using five carcinoma cell lines, and subsequently applied to malignant pleural and peritoneal effusions using antibodies against epithelial and mesothelial markers (Ber-EP4 and EMA), CD138, and integrin subunits. FCM of frozen versus fresh specimens and the performance of FCM compared to immunhistochemistry were evaluated. FCM optimization was achieved and applied to clinical specimens, with resulting detection of epithelial markers and adhesion molecules on cancer cells. Frozen clinical specimens and cell lines showed reduced CD138 expression compared to fresh specimens, with conservation of the remaining epitopes. FCM generally showed comparable performance to immunhistochemistry. FCM is an effective method for characterization of cancer cells in clinical effusion specimens in both the diagnostic and research setting, and is comparable to immunhistochemistry in terms of sensitivity and specificity, with the additional advantage of providing quantitative data. The majority of epitopes are conserved in frozen cells, but a minority may be lost, suggesting that the thorough testing of each antibody in both conditions is mandatory.
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