Gene Expression Profiling

Gene expression profiling using DNA microarray technology is a powerful tool allowing analysis of expression of thousands of genes in one experiment. Early studies demonstrated that it is possible to correctly distinguish AML from ALL based on gene expression profiles. This proof of principle underscored the accuracy and power of analyzing mRNA expression levels of thousands of genes simultaneously.69 Subsequent studies have shown that several cytogenetically and mole-cularly defined AML subtypes, such as t(15;17)/PML-RARA, t(8;21)/AML1(RUNX1)-ETO(CBFA2T1), and inv(16)/t(16;16)/CBFB-MYH11, display characteristic gene expression signatures and that these gene expression signatures, not surprisingly, correlate with clinical outcome.70 Moreover, novel gene clusters, apparently not corresponding to cytogenetic aberrations, have also been identified; some have had prognostic signifi-cance.70 These studies have identified numerous genes selectively over- or underexpressed within particular subtypes of AML, which may provide important insights into the molecular pathways involved.

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