ABSTRACT: Current methodology often cannot distinguish second primary breast cancers from multifocal disease, a potentially important distinction for clinical management. In the present study we evaluated the use of oligonucleotide-based microarray analysis in determining the clonality of tumors by comparing gene expression profiles.
Total RNA was extracted from two tumors with no apparent physical connection that were located in the right breast of an 87-year-old woman diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma (IDC). The RNA was hybridized to the Affymetrix Human Genome U95A Gene Chip (12,500 known human genes) and analyzed using the Gene Chip Analysis Suite 3.3 (Affymetrix, Inc, Santa Clara, CA, USA) and JMPIN 3.2.6 (SAS Institute, Inc, Cary, NC, USA). Gene expression profiles of tumors from five additional patients were compared in order to evaluate the heterogeneity in gene expression between tumors with similar clinical characteristics.
The adjacent breast tumors had a pairwise correlation coefficient of 0.987, and were essentially indistinguishable by microarray analysis. Analysis of gene expression profiles from different individuals, however, generated a pairwise correlation coefficient of 0.710.
Transcriptional profiling may be a useful diagnostic tool for determining tumor clonality and heterogeneity, and may ultimately impact on therapeutic decision making.
Breast Cancer Research 02/2001; 3(5):336-41. · 5.33 Impact Factor