Flow Microfluorometric Patterns of Human Bone Marrow and Tumor Cells in Response to Cancer Chemotherapy

Awtar Krishan, Martin H.N. Tattersall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


A rapid propidium iodide staining method was used for analysis of single cell suspensions of bone marrow and tumor biopsies by flow microfluorometry. With this technique, information on the proliferative status of target tissues can be obtained within 10 min of sample removal. DNA histograms and labeling index of sequential bone marrow biopsies from a patient with Stage IV diffuse lymphocytic leukemia and treated with 1 β D arabinofuranosylcytosine infusion showed pronounced reduction in the percentage of cycling cells. In contrast, sequential tumor biopsies from a melanoma patient on methotrexate citrovorum factor rescue therapy showed no changes. In sequential bone marrow biopsies of 3 patients on high dose methotrexate citrovorum factor rescue, initial accumulation of cells in G1 S (Day 1) was followed by a significant proliferative response (Days 4 to 7) and return to pretherapy values. In contrast, no recovery similar to that of the bone marrow was seen in tumor cells. The propidium iodide staining method for flow microfluorometry (FMF) analysis has been used in a variety of samples in clinical chemotherapy. The method is of particular usefulness for monitoring of bone marrow proliferation in patients on high dose MTX therapy followed by rescue with either citrovorum factor or thymidine. This paper illustrates the use of rapid FMF analysis in clinical chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3813-3820
Number of pages8
JournalCancer Research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1976
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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