Cytogenetic and molecular genetic demonstration of polyclonality in an acinic cell carcinoma

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The paradigm that human malignancies are monoclonal has been questioned during recent years by the finding of unrelated, cytogenetically aberrant clones in short-term cultures from certain tumour types, notably carcinomas of the breast, skin and upper aerodigestive tract. In order to analyse whether cytogenetically unrelated clones are also unrelated at the molecular level, we analysed the X-chromosome inactivation status in cell cultures from a cytogenetically highly polyclonal acinic cell carcinoma of the parotid gland. By using cell cultures dominated by a single abnormal clone, obtained through in vitro culturing for 3-5 passages, we showed that the different clones must indeed have originated from different cells.

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