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J Mol Diagn. 2002 Feb;4(1):30-6.

Core biopsies can be used to distinguish differences in expression profiling by cDNA microarrays.

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Medicine Branch, Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA.


The primary focus of this work was to determine the feasibility of obtaining representative expression array profiles from clinical core biopsies. For this purpose we performed six 16-gauge needle core biopsies and an excision biopsy on each of two different human xenografts, one from an Ewing's sarcoma cell line and the second from neuroblastoma cell line grown in Beige-Scid mice. Three of the six core biopsies were processed separately and the remaining three were pooled and processed together. As the initial RNA material isolated from the core biopsies was not sufficient for microarray analysis, an amplification procedure using a modified Eberwine protocol was performed, and the amplified products applied onto a 6000-feature human cDNA microarray. Comparisons of the array results from core biopsies (amplified RNA) and surgical specimens (non-amplified RNA) showed maintenance of the expression profile as assessed by hierarchical clustering. Gene expression profiles obtained from microarray analysis clearly differentiated the Ewing's sarcoma from the neuroblastoma with both core and excisional biopsies as starting material. Pooling the core biopsies did not improve the concordance with excisional biopsies. In conclusion, our results suggest that core biopsies can be used as a suitable and reliable material for the determination of tumor genetic profiles.

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