Cytogenetic analysis of short-term cultures was carried out on 109 lipomas from 92 patients. Clonal chromosomal abnormalities were present in 50% of the tumors analyzed. Based on the results, three main cytogenetic groups were identified and included: (a) tumors with normal karyotypes, (b) tumors with abnormalities involving region q13–15 on chromosome 12, and (c) tumors with other clonal aberrations. Within each of these groups, cytogenetic subgroups could be identified, each characterized by a specific anomaly. Tumors with abnormalities of 12q included specific subgroups with t/ins(1;12)(p32–33;q13–15), t(2;12)(p21–22;q13–14), t(3;12)(q28;q14), t(12;21)(q13;q21), complex, and nonrecurrent aberrations. The group containing heterogeneous clonal aberrations included subgroups with del(13)(q12q22), der(6)(p21–23), der(11)(q13), and nonspecific aberrations. Chromosome bands 1p36, 1p32–33, 2p21–22, 3q27–28, 6p21–23, 11q13, 12q13–15, 13q12, 13q22, 17p13, 17q21, and 21q21–22 were preferentially involved in structural rearrangements in lipomas. The identification of these sites of nonrandom rearrangements may serve to identify genes (at or near the junctions of chromosomal aberrations) involved in normal cellular growth control. Statistical analysis of the data revealed a correlation among karyotypic abnormalities and clinical data, such as age and sex of the patient, and tumor depth, site, and size.


Financial support: Grant CA-41183 from the National Cancer Institute.

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