Background and Objectives: Chromosomal instability is a common feature of pancreatic carcinoma, but its biological significance remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the association between chromosomal instability and biological aggressiveness in human pancreatic cancer cells. Methods: Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed to examine changes in chromosomal numbers in a total of 13 pancreatic cancer cell lines. We also assessed the potential for tumor aggressiveness within cancer cells by in vitro migration and invasion assay and by subcutaneous implantation into nude mice. Results: Chromosomal instability, characterized by numerical variations in copy numbers of chromosome 8, was observed in most cell lines, and the magnitude of instability was correlated well with both motility (P < 0.001) and invasion rate (P < 0.001) of these cells. Furthermore, a significant positive correlation existed between chromosome instability and tumor growth in vivo (P < 0.01). Conclusions: These results suggest that the increased level of chromosomal instability may play a critical role in the development of aggressive tumor phenotype during pancreatic cancer progression.
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