Microdissection Is Essential for Gene Expression Profiling of Clinically Resected Cancer Tissues

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The gene expression array method enables us to achieve expression profiling with thousands of genes. Clinically resected bulk cancer tissues, however, contain not only cancer cells but also stromal cells, which may affect gene expression profiling and hamper accurate analysis of the cancer cells per se. Therefore, a procedure for dissecting specific cells, such as laser capture microdissection, is needed for the clinical application of a gene expression array. There has been no study actually comparing 2 gene expression profiles, one obtained using RNA extracted from cancer cells by laser capture microdissection and one obtained using RNA extracted from bulk cancer tissues. We first demonstrated the difference in expression patterns between them, without any amplification procedures. In addition, differential expression analysis between tumor and nontumor tissue yielded quite different patterns between the 2 methods. We conclude that microdissection is essential for gene expression profiling of clinical specimens.

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