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Cytogenet Genome Res. 2008;122(1):5-15. doi: 10.1159/000151310. Epub 2008 Oct 14.

Genomic signatures of chromosomal instability and osteosarcoma progression detected by high resolution array CGH and interphase FISH.

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Department of Genetics and Genome Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada.


Osteosarcoma (OS) is characterized by an unstable karyotype which typically has a heterogeneous pattern of complex chromosomal abnormalities. High-resolution array comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) in combination with interphase fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) analyses provides a complete description of genomic imbalances together with an evaluation of the contribution of cell-to-cell variation to copy number changes. There have been no analyses to date documenting genomic signatures consistent with chromosomal instability mechanisms in OS tumors using array CGH. In this study, we utilized high-resolution array CGH to identify and characterize recurrent signatures of genomic imbalances using ten OS tumors. Comparison between the genomic profiles identified tumor groups with low, intermediate and high levels of genomic imbalance. Bands 6p22-->p21, 8q24 and 17p12--> p11.2 were consistently involved in high copy gain or amplification events. Since these three locations have been consistently associated with OS oncogenesis, FISH probes from each cytoband were used to derive an index of cellular heterogeneity for copy number within each region. OS with the highest degree of genomic imbalance also exhibited the most extreme cell-to-cell copy number variation. Significantly, the three OS with the most imbalance and genomic copy number heterogeneity also had the poorest response to preoperative chemotherapy. This genome wide analysis is the first utilizing oligonucleotide array CGH in combination with FISH analysis to derive genomic signatures of chromosomal instability in OS tumors by studying genomic imbalance and intercellular heterogeneity. This comprehensive genomic screening approach provides important insights concerning the mechanisms responsible for generating complex genomes. The resulting phenotypic diversity can generate tumors with a propensity for an aggressive disease course. A better understanding of the underlying mechanisms leading to OS tumor development could result in the identification of prognostic markers and therapeutic targets.

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