Genomic Approaches to Hematologic Malignancies

Blood. 2004; 104: 923-932. Published: 2004.08.14

Benjamin L. Ebert and Todd R. Golub

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Abstract

Over the past several years, experiments using DNA microarrays have contributed to an increasingly refined molecular taxonomy of hematologic malignancies. In addition to the characterization of molecular profiles for known diagnostic classifications, studies have defined patterns of gene expression corresponding to specific molecular abnormalities, oncologic phenotypes, and clinical outcomes. Furthermore, novel subclasses with distinct molecular profiles and clinical behaviors have been identified. In some cases, specific cellular pathways have been highlighted that can be therapeutically targeted. The findings of microarray studies are beginning to enter clinical practice as novel diagnostic tests, and clinical trials are ongoing in which therapeutic agents are being used to target pathways that were identified by gene expression profiling. While the technology of DNA microarrays is becoming well established, genome-wide surveys of gene expression generate large datasets that can easily lead to spurious conclusions. Many challenges remain in the statistical interpretation of gene expression data and the biological validation of findings. As data accumulates and analyses become more sophisticated, genomic technologies offer the potential to generate increasingly sophisticated insights into the complex molecular circuitry of hematologic malignancies. This review summarizes the current state of discovery, and addresses key areas for future research.

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Manuscript Review Genomics of Heme Malig, Blood 2004.pdf