DNA microarrays for assessing ovarian cancer gene expression

Izhak Haviv, Ian G. Campbell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Although DNA microarray analysis is presented as a revolution in gene expression studies, it is in fact based on the classic technique of Southern DNA hybridisation where a labelled DNA probe is hybridised to single stranded DNA that is bound to a solid support matrix. The truly revolutionary aspect of microarray analysis lies in the fact that, within a given cell population, the expression of tens of thousands of genes, and ultimately the entire genome, can be assayed simultaneously. This capability, when coupled with powerful data analysis software, allows researchers to rapidly compare gene expression between two cell populations. In the cancer field, this enables researchers to compare gene expression between normal and malignant cells and to identify genes that are differentially regulated during cancer development. Microarray data can also be used to categorize tumours on the basis of their molecular profile, which may provide important biological, diagnostic and prognostic information. As little as 5 years ago identifying even a few differentially expressed genes may have taken several years and cost tens of thousands of dollars. Today microarrays can identify ten times the number of candidate genes in just a few months and at a tenth of the cost. Even so, microarray analysis is still in its infancy and the technology is advancing rapidly. There is little doubt that microarrays will revolutionize our ability to quantify the complex changes that occur in gene expression during cancer development. The greatest challenge that lies ahead is how to translate this knowledge into clinically useful diagnostic and therapeutic tools. In this review, we describe the technical aspects of DNA microarray analysis and some of the current and future applications of this technology for analysing gene expression in ovarian cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 31 May 2002
Externally publishedYes


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