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Curr Issues Mol Biol. 2003 Apr;5(2):27-35.

Handling of clinical tissue specimens for molecular profiling studies.

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Pathogenetics Unit, Laboratory of Pathology and Urologic Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


The relationship between gene expression profiles and cellular phenotypes is an important aspect of functional genomics. Clinical tissue specimens will play a vital role in this effort. The usefulness of tissue for molecular profiling is significantly influenced by the manner of specimen handling. Crucial components of this process include the optimization of the methods of tissue fixation and embedding, not only to obtain excellent histological detail, but also to promote the elucidation of the gene and protein expression profiles. In this article, we describe handling of clinical specimens using whole-mount prostate as an example, the use of new high-throughput techniques that allow molecular profiling analysis and the use of a web-based 3-dimensional model to combine these data to make it available to clinicians and the research community. Complete protocols and additional discussion are available on the website,

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