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Chromosomal abnormalities are commonly associated with cancer, and their importance in the pathogenesis of the disease has been well recognized. Also recognized in recent years is the possibility that, together with chromosomal abnormalities, DNA ploidy of breast cancer aspirate cells, measured by image cytometric techniques, may correlate with prognosis of the disease. Here, we have examined the use of an artificial neural network to predict: 1) subclinical metastatic disease in the regional lymph nodes and 2) histological assessment, through the analysis of data obtained by image cytometric techniques of fine needle aspirates of breast tumors. The cellular features considered were: 1) DNA ploidy measured in terms of nuclear DNA content as well as by cell cycle distribution; 2) size of the S-phase fraction; and 3) nuclear pleomorphism. A further objective of the study was to analyze individual markers in terms of impact significance on predicting outcome in both cases. DNA ploidy, indicated by cell cycle distribution, was found markedly to influence the prediction of nodal spread of breast cancer, and nuclear pleomorphism to a lesser degree. Furthermore, a comparison between histological assessment and artificial neural network prediction shows a closer correlation between the neural approach and the development of further metastases as indicated in subsequent follow-up, than does histological assessment.