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Pediatr Blood Cancer. 2009 Feb;52(2):209-14. doi: 10.1002/pbc.21833.

Analysis of biological prognostic factors using tissue microarrays in neuroblastic tumors.

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Department of Pathology, Medical School, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain.



Neuroblastic tumors (NT) are pediatric neoplasms with a heterogeneous genetic profile. They present genotypic alterations of prognostic value, the study of which is mandatory in designing therapeutic management. Tissue microarrays (TMA) from paraffin material allow the analysis of a large number of cases with minimal costs. The main purpose of the present study is to analyze specific genetic markers of neuroblastic tumors included in TMAs and determine their prognostic value. We compare the results obtained by different molecular techniques at different substrates to evaluate the feasibility of these assays.


One hundred thirty-nine samples were included in four different TMAs. We performed FISH assays to determine the status of MYCN gene, 1p36 region and 17q23 arm. The prognostic value of the genetic markers as well as the statistical correlation among clinical variables and outcome were analyzed by SPSS.


MYCN amplification was detected in 35.3% of the cases, whereas 1p36 deletion and 17q23 gain was observed in 46.8% and 58.3% of the cases, respectively. An adverse prognosis was noted among these patients. Other adverse factors were age (>18 months) as well as high stage of disease (stage 4). Phenotypic signs of differentiation correlated with good outcome.


Retrospective studies using paraffin-embedded tissues assembled in TMA are a useful tool for the analysis of prognostic factors in NT.

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