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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2003 Apr;78(3):337-45.

Genome amplification of chromosome 20 in breast cancer.

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Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of California at San Francisco, San Francisco, CA, USA.


Recurrent gain and amplification of the long arm of chromosome 20 (20q) has been observed in a wide variety of cancers. This suggests that a gene or genes encoded on 20q play important roles in contributing to the cancer phenotype when overexpressed. In the quest to discover cancer genes, this region of the genome has been exhaustively studied, and the results demonstrate remarkable complexity. Multiple regions of low and high-level 20q copy number gain correlate with poor clinical prognosis and appear to contribute to the cancer phenotype, especially aspects of immortalization, genome instability, apoptosis, and increased proliferation. Gene discovery efforts have revealed a number of interesting candidate genes on chromosome 20 that may contribute to oncogenic progression. The study of 20q serves as a model for positional cloning enthusiasts, demonstrating the path typically taken when moving from initial discovery of an important genomic abnormality to identification of genes likely to be significant players in disease progression. This review will summarize approximately a decade of study on 20q and is structured as moving from an introduction to the techniques used in 20q analyses, to the details of 20q genomic complexity and its involvement with cancer, and finally to a detailed gene-specific look at this region.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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