Published in Cancer Detection and Prevention 1993; 17(6):585-590.

Detection of c-Ha-ras Oncogene Expression in Pleural and Peritoneal Smear Effusions by In Situ Hybridization

Pauline P. Athanassiadou, Smaragda Z. Veneti, M.D., Kalliopi A. Kyrkou, and Peter H. Athanassiades

Cytology and Cytogenetic Department, Laiko Hospital, and Department of Clinical Therapeutics, Alexandra Hospital, Medical School, University of Athens, Greece

Address all correspondence and reprint requests to: Address reprint requests to: Dr. Pauline P. Athanassiadou, 70 Paparseni Str., 115 24, Athens, Greece.

ABSTRACT: This study was undertaken to determine the presence of the c-Ha-ras protooncogene in pleural and peritoneal effusions. Cells from 40 pleural and peritoneal fluids from patients with malignant and nonmalignant diseases were studied by in situ DNA hybridization utilizing a biotinylated probe. The results were correlated with those obtained by conventional cytological methods. A cytological diagnosis of metastatic carcinoma was established in 67% of the patients with malignancy and effusion, and in 6% of the patients with benign disease accompanied by effusion. On the other hand, a relatively high proportion of ras expression was observed in 38% of the cases representing benign and reactive effusions and as high as 88% in the cases with malignant tumor and effusion. These results suggest that the ras oncogene may have an important role in differentially diagnosing benign and reactive mesothelial cells from malignant cells.

KEY WORDS: c-Ha-ras oncogene, pleural and peritoneal effusions, reactive mesothelial cells, malignant cells.