BETH LYNN MAXWELL, The University of Texas Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Houston


In this dissertation, the cytogenetic characteristics of bone marrow cells from 41 multiple myeloma patients were investigated. These cytogenetic data were correlated with the total DNA content as measured by flow cytometry. Both the cytogenetic information and DNA content were then correlated with clinical data to determine if diagnosis and prognosis of multiple myeloma could be improved. One hundred percent of the patients demonstrated abnormal chromosome numbers per metaphase. The average chromosome number per metaphase ranged from 42 to 49.9, with a mean of 44.99. The percent hypodiploidy ranged from 0-100% and the percent hyperdiploidy from 0-53%. Detailed cytogenetic analyses were very difficult to perform because of the paucity of mitotic figures and the poor chromosome morphology. Thus, detailed chromosome banding analysis on these patients was impossible. Thirty seven percent of the patients had normal total DNA content, whereas 63% had abnormal amounts of DNA (one patient with less than normal amounts and 25 patients with greater than normal amounts of DNA). Several clinical parameters were used in the statistical analyses: tumor burden, patient status at biopsy, patient response status, past therapy, type of treatment and percent plasma cells. Only among these clinical parameters were any statistically significant correlations found: pretreatment tumor burden versus patient response, patient biopsy status versus patient response and past therapy versus patient response. No correlations were found between percent hypodiploid, diploid, hyperdiploid or DNA content, and the patient response status, nor were any found between those patients with: (a) normal plasma cells, low pretreatment tumor mass burden and more than 50% of the analyzed metaphases with 46 chromosomes; (b) normal amounts of DNA, low pretreatment tumor mass burden and more than 50% of the metaphases with 46 chromosomes; (c) normal amounts of DNA and normal quantities of plasma cells; (d) abnormal amounts of DNA, abnormal amounts of plasma cells, high pretreatment tumor mass burden and less than 50% of the metaphases with 46 chromosomes. Technical drawbacks of both cytogenetic and DNA content analysis in these multiple myeloma patients are discussed along with the lack of correlations between DNA content and chromosome number. Refined chromosome banding analysis awaits technical improvements before we can understand which chromosome material (if any) makes up the "extra" amounts of DNA in these patients. None of the correlations tested can be used as diagnostic or prognostic aids for multiple myeloma.

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Recommended Citation

MAXWELL, BETH LYNN, "CYTOGENETIC AND DNA CONTENT ANALYSIS IN MULTIPLE MYELOMA" (1980). Texas Medical Center Dissertations (via ProQuest). AAI8109334.