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DNA Microarray-Based Gene Expression Profiling in Cancer: Aiding Cancer Diagnosis, Assessing Prognosis and Predicting Response to Therapy

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A DNA microarray is a solid support such as a glass slide, silicon chip or nylon membrane on which DNA molecules are attached at precise locations. Using DNA microarrays, the expression of tens of thousands of genes in a biological sample can be detected in one experiment. Emerging data suggests that the use of DNA microarrays can aid the differentiation of tumors with similar morphological appearance, predict patient outcome independently of conventional prognostic factors and select for response or resistance to specific anti-cancer therapies. DNA microarray technology thus has the potential to supplement standard diagnostic procedures in oncology and permit a more individualized approach to patient management. Prior to clinical application, however, this methodology must be simplified, standardized, evaluated in external quality assessment schemes and made available at relatively low costs. Most importantly, the preliminary, but promising, early findings must be validated by high-level evidence studies, such as large prospective randomized trials or meta-analyses.

Keywords: DNA microarrays; cancer; diagnosis; prognosis and prediction; tumor markers

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: Department of Pharmacology, Centre for Molecular Medicine, Conway Institute of Biomolecular and Biomedical Research, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland.

Publication date: December 1, 2005

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  • Current Pharmacogenomics provides comprehensive overviews of all current research on pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics. All areas of the field from pre-clinical to clinical research are covered, including related areas such as genomics, proteomics, target discovery, bioinformatics and novel diagnostics. This international journal is peer-reviewed and publishes both mini- and full review articles.

    The journal has become essential reading for all researchers and clinicians with interests in pharmacogenomics and pharmacogenetics.
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