Microarrays2014, 3(2), 137-158; doi:10.3390/microarrays3020137 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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. 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.
Microarrays2014, 3(2), 103-136; doi:10.3390/microarrays3020103 (doi registration under processing) - published online 17 April 2014 Show/Hide Abstract
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 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.
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 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.
Abstract: Despite neuroblastoma being the most common extracranial solid cancer in childhood, it is still a rare disease. Consequently, the unavailability of tissue for research limits the statistical power of studies. Pathology archives are possible sources of rare tissue, which, if proven to remain consistent over time, could prove useful to research of rare disease types. We applied immunohistochemistry to investigate whether long term storage caused any changes to antigens used diagnostically for neuroblastoma. We constructed and quantitatively assessed a tissue microarray containing neuroblastoma archival material dating between 1950 and 2007. A total of 119 neuroblastoma tissue cores were included spanning 6 decades. Fourteen antibodies were screened across the tissue microarray (TMA). These included seven positive neuroblastoma diagnosis markers (NB84, Chromogranin A, NSE, Ki-67, INI1, Neurofilament Protein, Synaptophysin), two anticipated to be negative (S100A, CD99), and five research antibodies (IL-7, IL-7R, JAK1, JAK3, STAT5). The staining of these antibodies was evaluated using Aperio ImageScope software along with novel pattern recognition and quantification algorithms. This analysis demonstrated that marker signal intensity did not decrease over time and that storage for 60 years had little effect on antigenicity. The construction and assessment of this neuroblastoma TMA has demonstrated the feasibility of using archival samples for research.
Abstract: Bipolar disorder is a complex psychiatric disorder with high heritability, but its genetic determinants are still largely unknown. Copy number variation (CNV) is one of the sources to explain part of the heritability. However, it is a challenge to estimate discrete values of the copy numbers using continuous signals calling from a set of markers, and to simultaneously perform association testing between CNVs and phenotypic outcomes. The goal of the present study is to perform a series of data filtering and analysis procedures using a DNA pooling strategy to identify potential CNV regions that are related to bipolar disorder. A total of 200 normal controls and 200 clinically diagnosed bipolar patients were recruited in this study, and were randomly divided into eight control and eight case pools. Genome-wide genotyping was employed using Illumina Human Omni1-Quad array with approximately one million markers for CNV calling. We aimed at setting a series of criteria to filter out the signal noise of marker data and to reduce the chance of false-positive findings for CNV regions. We first defined CNV regions for each pool. Potential CNV regions were reported based on the different patterns of CNV status between cases and controls. Genes that were mapped into the potential CNV regions were examined with association testing, Gene Ontology enrichment analysis, and checked with existing literature for their associations with bipolar disorder. We reported several CNV regions that are related to bipolar disorder. Two CNV regions on chromosome 11 and 22 showed significant signal differences between cases and controls (p< 0.05). Another five CNV regions on chromosome 6, 9, and 19 were overlapped with results in previous CNV studies. Experimental validation of two CNV regions lent some support to our reported findings. Further experimental and replication studies could be designed for these selected regions.