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Am J Pathol. 2002 Oct;161(4):1507-13.

Chromosome 6 suffers frequent and multiple aberrations in thymoma.

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Institute of Pathology, Würzburg University, Würzburg, Germany.


Thymoma is the most frequent tumor arising in human thymus. In this study, we performed a detailed mapping of deleted regions on chromosome 6 shown previously to harbor the most frequent genetic aberrations in this cancer. We analyzed 40 thymomas using 41 microsatellites. Two hundred ninety-four (23.5%) of 1253 informative genotypes showed loss of heterozygosity (LOH), only 39 (2.4%) were positive for microsatellite instability (MSI). Genetic aberrations on chromosome 6 were found in 31 of 40 cases (77.5%) in five hot spots. The most frequent LOHs (48.6%) occurred in region 6q25.2 within a 0.7-Mb interval flanked by markers D6S441 and D6S290. Another hot spot showing LOH in 32.4% of tumors was located between markers D6S442 and D6S1708 (0.4 Mb apart) on 6q25.2-25.3, just 1.1 Mb from the D6S441-D6S290 deletions. The third hot spot (30%) showing LOH appeared in region 6p21.31 including the MHC locus (markers D6S1666-D6S1560, 1 Mb apart). The fourth hot spot (26.3%) was detected on 6q14.1-14.3 (D6S1596-D6S284, 5.2 Mb apart). Some tumors (21.6%) showed LOHs within a fifth hot spot on 6q21 (D6S447-D6S1592, 0.3 Mb apart). Thus, several tumor suppressor genes on chromosome 6 seem to be involved in the pathogenesis of thymoma.

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