A morphometric procedure yielding dependable quantitative data on structural components of tumors was devised. Semiquantitative data on necrobiosis, karyorrhexis, and infiltrating inflammatory cells were also obtained. Sections of tumor cut in three mutually perpendicular directions revealed minor quantitative intratumor variation for small-cell and epidermoid carcinoma but greater ones for adenocarcinoma. Small-cell carcinomas revealed little variation in the amount of tumor and stroma while stroma amounted to up to 50% of total areas in epidermoid carcinoma. Small-cell carcinoma showed better vascularization than the other 3 types of tumors. It was nearly devoid of lymphocytes, plasma cells, and macrophages. A case of a long-term survivor did not differ in this respect from the others. Macrophages were found only in epidermoid carcinoma. Amount of necrobiosis and karyorrhexis did not correspond to that of necrosis. The number of tumor cell nuclei per unit area differed significantly between individual cases of epidermoid and adenocarcinoma but was more uniform in small-cell carcinoma.
This study was supported by the Veterans Administration and the National Cancer Institute.