We assessed components of total variability of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdUrd) and proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) assays of rectal mucosal proliferation in a subset of 390 participants from the U.S. National Cancer Institute's multicenter Polyp Prevention Trial. Biopsies were blindly double-scored by two technicians. For those participants for whom at least one evaluable biopsy was obtained, a mean of 2.0 and 2.6 biopsies, and 6.2 and 8.7 crypts/biopsy were evaluated, respectively, with the BrdUrd and PCNA assays. Factors such as clinical center, scorer, and month of biopsy collection significantly affected the observed values of the labeling index (LI) and proliferative height (PH). Therefore, it is essential to control or adjust for these variables in proliferation studies. Sources of random variation for LI and PH measures remaining after the aforementioned factors include between-participant variation and several sources of within- participant variation, including variation over time, between biopsies, and between multiple measurements on the same biopsy. Both LI and PH measurements exhibited substantial variability over time, between biopsies, and from reading-to-reading of the same biopsy. When other sources of variability have been accounted for, the PCNA LI seems to have little between-participant variation. This brings into question its utility as a marker in colorectal cancer studies. The PCNA PH showed significant between-participant variability and may hold some promise as a useful marker in colorectal cancer studies. Results for BrdUrd were less conclusive. The BrdUrd LI showed marginally significant between-participant variation, whereas the corresponding variation for PH was nonsignificant.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention|
|State||Published - Jul 1 1998|
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