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Cancer Genet Cytogenet. 1999 May;111(1):21-7.

Investigation of chromosomal aberrations in hepatocellular carcinoma by fluorescence in situ hybridization.

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Department of Pathology, National Taiwan University Hospital, National Taiwan University College of Medicine, Taipei, Republic of China.


Molecular cytogenetic approaches have been applied only rarely in the characterization of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). The aim in this study was to evaluate aberrations, particularly deletions, of specific chromosomal regions in HCC. Dual-color fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was performed on intact nuclei from touch preparations of 17 HCCs and 1 hepatic adenoma. Each touch preparation was hybridized with a digoxigenin-labeled centromere probe and a biotin-labeled unique sequence probe from the same chromosome. This approach permitted the simultaneous evaluation of ploidy changes and chromosome arm deletions. Eight noncentromeric chromosome regions, 3p14, 4q21, 6q14, 6q21, 8p12, 8p22, 9p21, and 9p24 were selected for study on the basis of their having been implicated as tumor suppressor regions in HCC or other common types of carcinoma. Together with the 5 corresponding centromeric probes on chromosomes 3, 4, 6, 8, and 9, a total of 13 chromosome loci were evaluated. All cases of hepatocellular carcinoma showed at least one deletion or aneuploidy. The hepatic adenoma was all diploid. Chromosome 4q21 showed the highest rate of deletion (76.5%) and aneusomy (88%). The second and the third were chromosome 8p22 and 6q14, which showed 59% and 47% of deletion, respectively. A 4q21 deletion is also the most frequent single chromosome aberration. Prominent tumor heterogeneity and variable deletion patterns were noted. Interphase FISH was an efficient means for evaluating numerical and structural chromosome aberrations in HCCs. Most HCCs contained deletions of known tumor suppressor regions (4q and 8p), and a novel deletion hotspot was demonstrated on chromosome band 6q14.

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