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Use of multicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization to detect deletions in clinical tissue sections

A variety of laboratory methods are available for the detection of deletions of tumor suppressor genes and losses of their proteins. The clinical utility of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for the identification of deletions of tumor suppressor genes has previously been limited by difficulties in the interpretation of FISH signal patterns. The first deletion FISH assays using formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded tissue sections had to deal with a significant background level of signal losses affecting nuclei that are truncated by the cutting process of slide preparation. Recently, more efficient probe designs, incorporating probes adjacent to the tumor suppressor gene of interest, have increased the accuracy of FISH deletion assays so that true chromosomal deletions can be readily distinguished from the false signal losses caused by sectioning artifacts. This mini-review discusses the importance of recurrent tumor suppressor gene deletions in human cancer and reviews the common FISH methods being used to detect the genomic losses encountered in clinical specimens. The use of new probe designs to recognize truncation artifacts is illustrated with a four-color PTEN FISH set optimized for prostate cancer tissue sections. Data are presented to show that when section thickness is reduced, the frequency of signal truncation losses is increased. We also provide some general guidelines that will help pathologists and cytogeneticists run routine deletion FISH assays and recognize sectioning artifacts. Finally, we summarize how recently developed sequence-based approaches are being used to identify recurrent deletions using small DNA samples from tumors.

Authors:   Maisa Yoshimoto; Olga Ludkovski; Jennifer Good; Ciro Pereira; Robert J. Gooding; Jean McGowan-Jordan; Alexander Boag; Andrew Evans; Ming-Sound Tsao; Paulo Nuin; Jeremy A. Squire
Journal:   Laboratory Investigation
Year:   2018
Pages:   1
DOI:   10.1038/s41374-017-0007-2
Publication date:   16-Jan-2018
Facts, background information, dossiers
  • fish
  • tissue sections
  • cancer
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