Clinical applications of image cytometry to human tumour analysis


  • Christine Millot
  • J. Dufer


image cytometry, cancer cells, DNA content, morphometry, texture


Image cytometry (ICM) is widely applied to the automated screening, the detection, the diagnosis, the classification, the prognosis and the therapeutic followup of different types of cancers (breast, bladder, cervix,. . .). This review describes the analysis methods and the applications of nuclear image analysis, the determination of DNA content and the analysis of morphometry and of nuclear texture. DNA content analysis can contribute to a prognostic information in addition to other prognostic factors for breast, renal and prostate cancers. For ovarian cancer, aneuploidy seems to be related to prognosis. Bladder tumours with DNA aneuploidy were frequently of high malignancy while ploidy was significantly correlated to relapse risk. For digestive cancers, patients presenting DNA diploid tumours show a better survival than patients with aneuploid ones. Morphometry seems to be a more important criterion than other conventional prognostic factors of invasive breast and digestive carcinomas. A differential diagnosis between normal and neoplastic thyroids is more precise when based on a quantitative evaluation of texture associated to morphometry. Textural parameters permit the discrimination of two populations of patients having a different prognosis and could thus be an aid for prognosis in prostatic cancers. Morphonuclear parameters contribute to separate low and high grade bladder carcinomas. Although ICM was frequently reported, results from the reported examples were not always obvious. In conclusion, the measurements obtained with ICM could be helpful for a decision in several cancers but could not be a substitute for the classical approach of the pathologist.




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