Gene arrays in lymphoma: Where will they fit in?
Molecular diagnostics for lymphoid malignancies has undergone substantial technical evolution during the past two decades, moving from labor-intensive investigations of individual abnormalities to high-throughput genome-wide analyses. Accordingly, its role has expanded to new fields such as monitoring of minimal residual disease and, more recently, outcome prediction in specific lymphoma subtypes. One novel technology that has had a major impact on the molecular diagnosis of lymphoid malignancies is gene expression profiling by DNA microarrays. It has provided robust and distinct molecular signatures for the most common types of lymphomas and has identified novel subsets that would not be identified by conventional methods. It also has led to the construction of molecularly defined prognostic models in these lymphoma subtypes and to a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms of lymphomagenesis. This development will undoubtedly transform diagnostic medicine in the near future and lead us into an era when tumor diagnosis will incorporate the information of critical molecular abnormalities that will have significant impact on disease outcome in each individual tumor sample. Future treatments are likely to be founded on effective, individualized, and mechanism-based therapies with the least toxicity.
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