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DNA Ploidy and Prostate Cancer Cells

One of the many purposes of a prostate biopsy is to perform a DNA Ploidy analysis. A DNA Ploidy analysis assesses the DNA characteristics of prostate cancer cells and may be conducted after a prostate biopsy has been performed. Prostate cancer cells can be classified as diploid, tetraploid, or aneuploid according to the amount of DNA in their nuclei. Cancerous cells that are more similar to normal cells are known as diploid, meaning that the nucleus of the cell contains the appropriate number of human chromosomes. Tetraploid means the nucleus of the cell contains four times as many chromosomes as a healthy cell, while aneuploid contains either too many or too few. Studies have shown that patients with diploid cancers have longer disease-free periods and extended recurrence-free survival times. For this reason DNA Ploidy analysis may be helpful in determining the grade of your cancer. Diploid prostate cancer cells are well-differentiated, or similar to healthy cells, and are more responsive to hormonal therapy than tetraploid or aneuploid cells. Therefore DNA Ploidy analysis may be able to predict how a patient will respond to prostate cancer treatments.

DNA Ploidy has become a relatively inexpensive and clinically available test. Your physician, through a prostate biopsy or certain prostatectomy procedures using either flow cytometry measurement (FLM) or static image cytometry (SIC), can perform this type of prostate cancer diagnosis. Flow cytometry refers to the measurement of the physical and chemical characteristics of a cell. Static image cytometry is used for clarifying indistinct areas in flow cytometry results. A doctor may order DNA Ploidy analysis if when he or she believes that the analysis will make a difference for the prostate cancer patient’s treatment options. A doctor will be able to determine whether a patient will benefit from a DNA Ploidy test based on his PSA level, Gleason score, and stage of prostate cancer. However, if a doctor has all the information needed to estimate that you have aggressive prostate cancer, then the DNA Ploidy test is unnecessary.


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