26 July 2005
The use of DNA microarrays in tumour profiling is a rapidly growing area of research; gene expression profiles identified using microarrays are being correlated with specific molecular tumour signatures, and it is thought that this information can be applied to aid diagnosis, prognosis and choice of treatment. The first clinical trials using gene-expression profiling to stratify breast cancer patients into good and poor prognosis groups (the latter group being chosen to receive chemotherapy) are already underway in Europe and the USA.
DNA microarray data requires complex analysis, which may be approached in different ways. A new paper in the Lancet reports the results of an analysis of data from published studies of cancer gene expression as a predictor of outcome; the authors took advantage of the system of recording microarray data in an international repository according to set MIAME (Minimum Information About a Microarray Experiment) guidelines. This study used a training-validation strategy, whereby a