DNA ploidy of 100 early gastric carcinomas (T1) was analysed by flow cytometry on archival material from five European centres and was correlated to morphological features and clinical behaviour. Tumours were classified according to the macroscopic appearance, histological type, and growth pattern. Aneuploidy was observed in 39% of tumours. Aneuploidy was more frequent in submucosal than in mucosal tumours (p = 0.04), in raised than in flat or ulcerated lesions (p = 0.001), and in the intestinal histological than in the diffuse types (p = 0.016). The presence of lymph node metastasis in 10 cases had no obvious relation to DNA ploidy. Five related deaths occurred during the follow up (6 months--16 years) of 84 patients. These results are similar to those reported in a large Japanese series suggesting no major differences between the two populations. Although follow up data were insufficient to relate DNA ploidy to tumour behaviour in this study, the Japanese experience shows that particular attention should be paid to early direction and complete surgical excision of raised intestinal type T1 carcinomas that have a Pen A growth pattern and are aneuploid.
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