Proliferative characteristics of intracranial and spinal tumors of developmental origin

Kyung G. Cho, Stephen J. De Armond, Stan Barnwell, Michael S.B. Edwards, Takao Hoshino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


The proliferative potential of 17 intracranial and spinal tumors (six craniopharyngiomas, four chordomas, three mature teratomas, one immature teratoma, one embryonal carcinoma, one choriocarcinoma, and one dermoid tumor) was assessed. The patients received a 30‐minute to 60‐minute infusion of bromodeoxyuridine (BUdR) (200 mg/m2 intravenously [IV]) at the time of surgery but before a biopsy of the tumor was performed, to label cells in the DNA synthesis phase. The labeling index (LI) was calculated by determining the percentage of BUdR‐labeled cells. The mean LI of the squamous epithlial elements of mature teratomas, craniopharyngiomas, and the dermoid tumor were 3.1 ± 1.2%, 1.9 ± 0.9%, and 2.9 ± 1.9%, respectively. As in normal epithelium, the labeled cells were located in the basal layer. These results and the clinical findings suggest that the proliferation kinetics of these tumors are similar to those of normal skin and differ from those of rapidly growing malignant neoplasms. The other tissue elements (i.e., respiratory epithelium and cartilage) also demonstrated “organized” proliferation patterns similar to those of the corresponding normal tissues. An immature teratoma, an embryonal carcinoma, and a choriocarcinoma each had a high LI (24.6 ± 5.3%, 32.3 ± 3.8%, and 17.0 ± 4.6%, respectively), and no organized pattern of proliferation was observed. In contrast, the mean LI of the four chordomas varied from 1.5% to 5.8%, and there was an even larger variation in the LI of different areas in individual tumors (from less than 1% to 7.5%). This finding suggests that even “slow‐growing” chordomas sometimes can be locally aggressive and show a high incidence of recurrence, regardless of morphologic similarities. Cancer 62:740–748,1988.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)740-748
Number of pages9
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 15 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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