How Do We Get Gene Expression Signatures? With Dna Microarray Technology?

785 Words 4 Pages
For many years, nonspecific and widely acting cytotoxic drugs have been the conventional approach in cancer therapy. The scope of treatments for cancer patients has been expanding and transitioning as scientists continue learning about malignant cells and the genetics that control them. As it has become increasingly clear that individuals who suffer from the same type of cancer often have very similar genetic defects, scientists have begun to focus on gene-expression signatures as molecular diagnostic tests, so that medically relevant therapies can be utilized in the treatment of cancer patients.1 In addition, gene-expression signatures can display a poor prognosis signature in small, newly developing tumors, helping to indicate early on which tumors are already programmed for a harmful, metastatic phenotype.2 How do we get gene-expression signatures? With DNA microarray technology, we can acquire the expressions of over 20,000 different genes per experiment.3 A labeled target sample, either RNA, cRNA, or cDNA, is analyzed with probes and a relative level of gene-expression can be obtained. There are numerous approaches and algorithms for interpreting the microarray results, and in doing so, we can see patterns of gene-expression, which we can then use to categorize tumors based on their characteristic expressions.4 These patterns are known as gene-expression signatures. Using gene-expression signatures, we can find both prognostic and predictive biomarkers. Specifically,…

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