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Relationship between apoptosis and proliferation in secondary tumors of the brain


Jesús Vaquero, md, Service of Neurosurgery, Hospital Puerta de Hierro, San Martin de Porres 4, 28035 Madrid, Spain. Email:


A correlation between apoptosis and proliferation in astrocytomas and oligodendrogliomas, but not in glioblastomas, has been previously reported. An index for apoptosis and proliferation was established for each tumor in a series of 20 brain metastases, and its correlation was studied using the Spearman rank correlation test. Apoptosis index (AI) ranged between 1 and 78% (mean ± SD: 11.48 ± 16.4). Proliferation index (PI) ranged between 2.4 and 21% (mean ± SD: 8.23 ± 4.8). When the relationship between AI and PI was studied, a clear correlation was found (r: 0.8965, 95% CI: 0.74–0.95; P < 0.0001). Therefore, it is concluded that a clear correlation exists between proliferation and apoptosis in secondary tumors of the brain.