By using the newly developed adhesive tumor cell culture system, we analyzed the chromosomal constitutions of primary lung tumor and nonmalignant normal lung tissue from 10 previously untreated patients with non-small cell lung cancer. Chromosomal analyses were successfully carried out in banded chromosome preparations from 10 tumor and 8 normal lung tissue samples. All analyzed tumor and normal lung tissue samples had a predominantly normal diploid chromosome number. However, there was at least one structural or numerical alteration in every tumor and lung tissue sample analyzed. Chromosomes 1, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, and 20 were more often involved in rearrangement. The most consistent finding was trisomy 7; 4 patients had trisomy 7 in both tumor and normal lung tissue, and another 2 had this anomaly in tumor tissue only. Of the 4 patients without trisomy 7, 2 had a homogeneously staining region in the short arm of chromosome 7 in tumor tissue. Phytohemag-glutinin-stimulated peripheral blood lymphocytes from 7 patients, including 5 patients with trisomy 7 in tumor tissue, did not show trisomy 7. These cytogenetic data suggest that chromosome 7 may be associated with lung cancer development and that trisomy 7 may be the hallmark of premalignant changes, at least in a subgroup of patients with non-small cell lung cancer.


This work was supported in part by a joint project of The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Hospital and Tumor Institute at Houston and the John S. Dunn Foundation (to S. P.) and in part by contract JMV:bg 11783 from Lifetrac, Ltd. (to G. S.). This work was presented in part at the 52nd Meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in San Francisco, CA, September, 1986 (1).

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