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Mutat Res. 2000 Feb;432(1-2):7-14.

Use of archival tissue in epidemiologic studies: collection procedures and assessment of potential sources of bias.

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University of Utah, Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, School of Medicine, Salt Lake City 84117, USA.


Collection and analyses of archival tumor tissue as a means to increase our understanding of disease pathways is becoming an important avenue of epidemiologic research. In this paper, we present methods of collection and processing of archival tissue and assess the population characteristics of those for whom we were able to and unable to obtain tumor DNA. Cases of colon cancer diagnosed between September, 1991 and October, 1994 living in Utah, Northern California, or the Twin Cities Metropolitan area of Minnesota were targeted for this study. Of the 2477 people for whom we had permission to obtain tumor blocks, we were able to collect blocks and extract DNA for 2117 (85.5%). There were no differences in age, tumor site, or diet and lifestyle characteristics between those with and without DNA extracted. However, we were less likely to be able to extract DNA if the case was diagnosed at a more advanced disease stage or at the earliest disease. Potential bias from exclusion of those with the most advanced disease stage is discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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