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J Mol Histol. 2007 May;38(2):151-7. Epub 2007 Jan 10.

Fluorescent in situ hybridization on tissue microarrays: challenges and solutions.

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Genetic Pathology Evaluation Centre of the Prostate Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Tissue microarray (TMA) technology has provided a high throughput means of evaluating potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets in archival pathological specimens. TMAs facilitate the rapid assessment of molecular alterations in hundreds of different tumours on a single slide. Sections from TMAs can be used for any in situ tissue analysis, including fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH). FISH is a molecular technique that detects numerical and structural abnormalities in both metaphase chromosomes and interphase nuclei. FISH is commonly used as a prognostic and diagnostic tool for the detection of translocations and for the assessment of gene deletion and amplification in tumours. Performing FISH on TMAs enables researchers to determine the clinical significance of specific genetic alterations in hundreds of highly characterized tumours. The use of FISH on archival paraffin embedded tissues is technically demanding and becomes even more challenging when applied to paraffin embedded TMAs. The problems encountered with FISH on TMAs, including probe preparation, hybridization, and potential applications of FISH, will be addressed in this review.

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