Molecular diagnostics is a rapidly advancing field in which insights into disease mechanisms are being elucidated by use of new gene-based biomarkers. Until recently, diagnostic and prognostic assessment of diseased tissues and tumors relied heavily on indirect indicators that permitted only general classifications into broad histologic or morphologic subtypes and did not take into account the alterations in individual gene expression. Global expression analysis using microarrays now allows for simultaneous interrogation of the expression of thousands of genes in a high-throughput fashion and offers unprecedented opportunities to obtain molecular signatures of the state of activity of diseased cells and patient samples. Microarray analysis may provide invaluable information on disease pathology, progression, resistance to treatment, and response to cellular microenvironments and ultimately may lead to improved early diagnosis and innovative therapeutic approaches for cancer.
- © 2002 The American Association for Clinical Chemistry