News FocusMedicine

DNA Arrays Reveal Cancer in Its Many Forms

Science  08 Sep 2000:
Vol. 289, Issue 5485, pp. 1670-1672
DOI: 10.1126/science.289.5485.1670

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The use of microarrays--slides or chips systematically dotted with DNA from thousands of genes--to determine gene expression patterns is providing a wealth of new information that should aid in cancer diagnosis and ultimately in therapy. In the past several months, researchers in several labs have used microarray technology to identify specific subtypes of a variety of cancers, including leukemias and lymphomas, the dangerous skin cancer melanoma, and breast cancer. In some cases, they can determine which cancers are likely to respond to current therapies and which aren't. In addition, the studies are giving researchers a fix on which genes are important for the development, maintenance, and spread of the various cancers, and are thus possible drug targets.