Cytogenetic analysis in cancer is used to confirm diagnosis, to aid differential diagnosis, and (possibly) to indicate prognosis.
Nowell and Hungerford first described a specific chromosome abnormality associated with chronic myeloid leukaemia in 1960. Since then, numbers of chromosomal abnormalities associated with cancer have grown exponentially. Abnormalities can be structural, numerical, or both; they may be restricted in distribution or found in many different tumour types. Some chromosomal alterations are useful in the diagnosis and prognosis of malignancies; the significance of others is unknown.
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