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Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2005 May;54(2):95-105.

Gene expression arrays in cancer research: methods and applications.

Author information

1
Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, São Paulo, Brazil. rbrentani@ludwig.org.br

Abstract

During the last 5 years, the number of papers describing data obtained by microarray technology increased exponentially with about 3000 papers in 2003. Undoubtedly, cancer is by far the disease that received most of the attention as far as the amount of data generated. As array technology is rather new and highly dependent on bioinformatics, mathematics and statistics, a clear understanding of the knowledge and information derived from array-based experiments is not widely appreciated. We shall review herein some of the issues related to the construction of DNA arrays, quantities and heterogeneity of probes and targets, the consequences of the physical characteristics of the probes, data extraction and data analysis as well as the applications of array technology. Our goal is to bring to the general audience, some of the basics of array technology and its possible application in oncology. By discussing some of the basic aspects of the methodology, we hope to stimulate criticism concerning the conclusions proposed by authors, especially in the light of the very low degree of reproducibility already proven when commercially available platforms were compared . Regardless of its pitfalls, it is unquestionable that array technology will have a great impact in the management of cancer and its applications will range from the discovery of new drug targets, new molecular tools for diagnosis and prognosis as well as for a tailored treatment that will take into account the molecular determinants of a given tumor. Hence, we shall also highlight some of the already available and promising applications of array technology on the day-to-day practice of oncology.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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