Science Webinar Series

Unearthing Hidden Genomic Data in Solid Tumor Samples: Are Your FFPE Samples Revealing All?

Science  13 Sep 2013:
Vol. 341, Issue 6151, pp. 1257
DOI: 10.1126/science.341.6151.1257-c

Summary

Cancer is a highly complex disease that can encompass multiple genomic alterations in the progression from normal to diseased cell. Recent studies point to the significance of copy number aberrations in the etiology of cancer, with the number and complexity of these aberrations being indicative of overall prognosis. Additionally, the detection and characterization of subclones is also understood to be important for understanding clonal evolution of the cancer and thus patient monitoring and treatment decisions. Genome-wide copy number analysis is a powerful means to understand the genetic basis of solid tumors. With the majority of solid tumors typically stored as formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue, retrospectively analyzing these samples with available outcome data is a cost-effective route to prognostic and predictive biomarker discovery. Our expert panel will describe their research and discoveries, and how they have overcome the significant challenges of extracting copy number data from often degraded, heterogeneous FFPE samples.