Technical Aspects of Gene Expression Analysis

Given the limitations in our present understanding of the basic biology of human cancer, many investigators have turned to the use of high-throughput gene expression studies to provide a more complete characterization of this disease. The technology underlying comprehensive gene expression analysis is the culmination of several amazing accomplishments including sequencing of the entire human genome, identification of most human protein-encoding sequences, development of techniques for the efficient production, purification and attachment of tens of thousands of nucleic acid probes to a solid support in a miniaturized format, and the development of sensitive detection techniques coupled with sophisticated analytical software. With this degree of complexity it is not surprising that comprehensive gene expression studies have many inherent technical and analytical challenges; however, initial efforts are providing reason for optimism (Ladanyi and Gerald 2003).

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