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,
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.