, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 53-60

DNA microarrays in prostate cancer

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Abstract

DNA microarray technology provides a means to examine large numbers of molecular changes related to a biological process in a high throughput manner. This review discusses plausible utilities of this technology in prostate cancer research, including definition of prostate cancer predisposition, global profiling of gene expression patterns associated with cancer initiation and progression, identification of new diagnostic and prognostic markers, and discovery of novel patient classification schemes. The technology, at present, has only been explored in a limited fashion in prostate cancer research. Some hurdles to be overcome are the high cost of the technology, insufficient sample size and repeated experiments, and the inadequate use of bioinformatics. With the completion of the Human Genome Project and the advance of several highly complementary technologies, such as laser capture microdissection, unbiased RNA amplification, customized functional arrays (eg, single-nucleotide polymorphism chips), and amenable bioinformatics software, this technology will become widely used by investigators in the field. The large amount of novel, unbiased hypotheses and insights generated by this technology is expected to have a significant impact on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of prostate cancer. Finally, this review emphasizes existing, but currently underutilized, data-mining tools, such as multivariate statistical analyses, neural networking, and machine learning techniques, to stimulate wider usage.