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Methods Mol Biol. 2009;509:15-33. doi: 10.1007/978-1-59745-372-1_2.

Discussion of the applicability of microarrays: profiling of leukemias.

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  • 1MLL Münchner Leukämielabor GmbH, München, Germany.


Leukemias are classified according to clinical, morphologic, and immunologic phenotypes, caused by specific genetic aberrations in association to distinct prognostic profiles. Usually the subtypes are defined using complementary laboratory methods, such as multiparameter flow cytometry, cytogenetics in combination with fluorescence in situ hybridization, and molecular methods such as the polymerase chain reaction. The genetic variations of the different subtypes lead to distinct changes also in gene expression, which is comprehensively analysed by DNA microarrays. Thus, first gene expression profiling studies showed that analysis with whole-genome DNA microarrays leads to a prediction accuracy of 95.6% with respect to the classical methods, and even allowed a further distinction of subtypes. It is expected that diagnostic strategies can be optimized with this new technology and that the understanding of the molecular pathogenesis of leukemias will be significantly improved. This could also lead to the identification of new targets for future drugs.

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