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Microarrays, Volume 3, Issue 2 (June 2014), Pages 91-158

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Qualitative and Quantitative Requirements for Assessing Prognostic Markers in Prostate Cancer
Microarrays 2014, 3(2), 137-158; doi:10.3390/microarrays3020137
Received: 3 March 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 2 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
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Abstract
Molecular prognostic markers are urgently needed in order to improve therapy decisions in prostate cancer. To better understand the requirements for biomarker studies, we re-analyzed prostate cancer tissue microarray immunohistochemistry (IHC) data from 39 prognosis markers in subsets of 50 – >10,000 tumors.
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Molecular prognostic markers are urgently needed in order to improve therapy decisions in prostate cancer. To better understand the requirements for biomarker studies, we re-analyzed prostate cancer tissue microarray immunohistochemistry (IHC) data from 39 prognosis markers in subsets of 50 – >10,000 tumors. We found a strong association between the “prognostic power” of individual markers and the number of tissues that should be minimally included in such studies. The prognostic relevance of more than 90% of the 39 IHC markers could be detected if ≥6400 tissue samples were analyzed. Studying markers of tissue quality, including immunohistochemistry of ets-related gene (ERG) and vimentin, and fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), we found that 18% of tissues in our tissue microarray (TMA) showed signs of reduced tissue preservation and limited immunoreactivity. Comparing the results of Kaplan-Meier survival analyses or associations to ERG immunohistochemistry in subsets of tumors with and without exclusion of these defective tissues did not reveal statistically relevant differences. In summary, our study demonstrates that TMA-based marker validation studies using biochemical recurrence as an endpoint require at least 6400 individual tissue samples for establishing statistically relevant associations between the expression of molecular markers and patient outcome if weak to moderate prognosticators should also be reliably identified. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview Identification of New Players in Hepatocarcinogenesis: Limits and Opportunities of Using Tissue Microarray (TMA)
Microarrays 2014, 3(2), 91-102; doi:10.3390/microarrays3020091
Received: 19 February 2014 / Accepted: 21 March 2014 / Published: 15 April 2014
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Abstract
Liver tumours are among the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for the vast majority of liver tumours. When detected at an early stage of disease, patients might still be eligible for surgical-based curative treatments. However, currently only
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Liver tumours are among the leading causes of cancer-related death worldwide and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) accounts for the vast majority of liver tumours. When detected at an early stage of disease, patients might still be eligible for surgical-based curative treatments. However, currently only small portion of HCC affected patients are diagnosed at an early stage. For late stage HCC no treatment option exists beside the multi-tyrosine kinase inhibitor Sorafenib. Thus new molecular targets and treatment options for HCC are urgently needed. Nevertheless, despite some improvements in diagnosis and patient management, the biology of liver tumour remains inadequately understood, mainly because these tumours have shown to harbour a highly complex genomic landscape. In addition, one major obstacle delaying the identification of new molecular targets in biomedical research is the necessity to validate them using a large collection of tissue specimens. Tissue microarray (TMA) technology allows the prompt molecular profiling of multiple tissue specimens and is therefore ideal to analyze presumptive candidate biomarkers in a fast an effective manner. The use of TMA has substantial benefits over standard techniques and represents a significant advancement in molecular pathology. For example, TMA technology reduces laboratory work, offers a high level of experimental uniformity and provides a judicious use of precious tissue. On the other hand, one potential limitation of using TMA is that the small cores sampled may not be representative of whole tumors. This issue is very critical in particularly heterogeneous cancers such as HCC. For liver focused studies, it is ideal to evaluate the staining patters of a determined marker over the structure of an entire acinus and to define staining in as many as possible anatomical regions. In this review we analyze the limits and opportunities offered by the usage of TMA technology in HCC research. In summary, TMA has revolutionized the histopathological analysis and will be of great help to further advance the knowledge in the field of hepatocarcinogenesis research. Full article
Open AccessReview Overview on Techniques to Construct Tissue Arrays with Special Emphasis on Tissue Microarrays
Microarrays 2014, 3(2), 103-136; doi:10.3390/microarrays3020103
Received: 9 January 2014 / Revised: 28 March 2014 / Accepted: 9 April 2014 / Published: 17 April 2014
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (2289 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
With the advent of new histopathological staining techniques (histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization) and the discovery of thousands of new genes, mRNA, and proteins by molecular biology, the need grew for a technique to compare many different cells or tissues on one slide
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With the advent of new histopathological staining techniques (histochemistry, immunohistochemistry, in situ hybridization) and the discovery of thousands of new genes, mRNA, and proteins by molecular biology, the need grew for a technique to compare many different cells or tissues on one slide in a cost effective manner and with the possibility to easily track the identity of each specimen: the tissue array (TA). Basically, a TA consists of at least two different specimens per slide. TAs differ in the kind of specimens, the number of specimens installed, the dimension of the specimens, the arrangement of the specimens, the embedding medium, the technique to prepare the specimens to be installed, and the technique to construct the TA itself. A TA can be constructed by arranging the tissue specimens in a mold and subsequently pouring the mold with the embedding medium of choice. In contrast, preformed so-called recipient blocks consisting of the embedding medium of choice have punched, drilled, or poured holes of different diameters and distances in which the cells or tissue biopsies will be deployed manually, semi-automatically, or automatically. The costs of constructing a TA differ from a few to thousands of Euros depending on the technique/equipment used. Remarkably high quality TAs can be also achieved by low cost techniques. Full article

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