The study of chromosomes in human cancer was given impetus in the early 1960s by the observation that metaphases from bone marrow cells obtained from patients with chronic myeloid leukaemia contained a small marker chromosome, named the 'Philadelphia' chromosome. This was the first association between a chromosome abnormality and a particular malignant disease. In this case the chromosomal change was acquired because it could be demonstrated to be restricted to certain haemopoietic cell lineages. The applicability of cyto-genetics in highlighting the location of genes important in tumorigenesis and
Molecular Biology in Cellular Pathology. Edited by John Crocker and Paul G. Murray © 2003 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd ISBN: 0-470-84475-2
in the diagnosis and management of malignant disease is now firmly established (reviewed by Roylance, 2001). This is particularly true of the leukaemias, but applications to other cancers are also emerging as part of routine clinical practice.
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