Chromosomein situ hybridization on formalin-fixed mammary tissue using non-isotopic, non-fluorescent probes: technical considerations and biological implications
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Fluorescentin situ hybridization techniques have provided an important tool for interphase cytogenetic studies of human neoplasms. However, these techniques are difficult to use on formalin-fixed archival tissue sections. We describe here a non-fluorescent, non-isotopicin situ hybridization (ISH) approach that is easily applicable to paraffin-embedded breast tissue sections. The technical steps that must be monitored and individualized to optimize signal generation and detection are discussed. This ISH technique has several advantages over fluorescent detection methods. The signal obtained can be viewed using an ordinary light microscope and does not fade with time. More importantly, the signal is observed and analyzed in the context of tissue morphology. The technique permits detection of numerical chromosomal abnormalities not only in malignant but also in apparently normal and potentially premalignant mammary tissue. This may allow identification of focal genetic abnormalities as well as field-defects and enable analysis of their evolution during the multistep transformation to mammary neoplasm. This technique is also suitable for analysis of tumor heterogeneity and the correlation of numerical chromosomal aberrations with histologic, immunocytochemical, and clinical features of breast tumors.
Key wordsbreast cancer in situ hybridization interphase cytogenetics paraffin-embedded sections multistep carcinogenesis tumor cytogenetics
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