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Curr Cancer Drug Targets. 2013 Sep;13(7):791-810.

Use of single nucleotide polymorphism array technology to improve the identification of chromosomal lesions in leukemia.

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Institute of Hematology "L. e A. Seràgnoli" Department of Experimental, Diagnostic and Specialty Medicine, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy, Via Massarenti, 9 - 40138 Bologna, Italy.


Acute leukemias are characterized by recurring chromosomal and genetic abnormalities that disrupt normal development and drive aberrant cell proliferation and survival. Identification of these abnormalities plays important role in diagnosis, risk assessment and patient classification. Until the last decade methods to detect these aberrations have included genome wide approaches, such as conventional cytogenetics, but with a low sensitivity (5-10%), or gene candidate approaches, such as fluorescent in situ hybridization, having a greater sensitivity but being limited to only known regions of the genome. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) technology is a screening method that has revolutionized our way to find genetic alterations, enabling linkage and association studies between SNP genotype and disease as well as the identification of alterations in DNA content on a whole genome scale. The adoption of this approach for the study of lymphoid and myeloid leukemias contributed to the identification of novel genetic alterations, such as losses/gains/uniparental disomy not visible by cytogenetics and implicated in pathogenesis, improving risk assessment and patient classification and in some cases working as targets for tailored therapies. In this review, we reported recent advances obtained in the knowledge of the genomic complexity of chronic myeloid leukemia and acute leukemias thanks to the use of high-throughput technologies, such as SNP array.

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