Background. Biological characteristics of gastric cancer depend mostly on genetic alterations in the cancer cells of individuals. To precisely predict the biological behavior and clinical outcome of individual cancer, it may be important to clarify the DNA profiles of cancer cells in each case. Methods. We have reviewed the most important results of studies on DNA ploidy of gastric cancer published in the English literature during the last 2 decades. Results. Gastric carcinoma with aneuploidy has been shown to have a high proliferative activity and a high metastatic or invasive potential, thus leading to a poor prognosis as compared to diploid tumors. Conclusion. Analyses of DNA ploidy in gastric cancer may provide clinically useful information on diagnostic, therapeutic, and prognostic aspects. Further investigations may be needed to clarify the relationship between chromosome instability and DNA ploidy.
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