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Molecular portraits and the family tree of cancer

Nature Genetics volume 32, pages 533540 (2002) | Download Citation

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Abstract

The twenty-first century heralds a new era for the biological sciences and medicine. The tools of our time are allowing us to analyze complex genomes more comprehensively than ever before. A principal technology contributing to this explosion of information is the DNA microarray, which enables us to study genome-wide expression patterns in complex biological systems. Although the potential of microarrays is yet to be fully realized, these tools have shown great promise in deciphering complex diseases such as cancer. The early results are painting a detailed portrait of cancer that illustrates the individuality of each tumor and allows familial relationships to be recognized through the identification of cell types sharing common expression patterns.

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Acknowledgements

We thank J. Parker for comments and apologize to the researchers whose work was not discussed owing to length considerations. This work was supported by grants from the National Cancer Institute and the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Division of Hematology/Oncology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CB #7305, 3009 Old Clinic Building, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

    • Christine H. Chung
  2. Department of Pathology, University of Utah, Huntsman Cancer Institute, 2000 Circle of Hope, Salt Lake City, Utah 84112-5550, USA.

    • Philip S. Bernard
  3. Department of Genetics, and Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, CB #7295, Chapel Hill, North Carolina 27599, USA.

    • Charles M. Perou

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Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Charles M. Perou.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/ng1038