Chromosome arm 20q gains and other genomic alterations in colorectal cancer metastatic to liver, as analyzed by comparative genomic hybridization and fluorescence in situ hybridization

Genes Chromosomes Cancer. 1999 Jun;25(2):82-90. doi: 10.1002/(sici)1098-2264(199906)25:2<82::aid-gcc2>;2-6.


Comprehensive information about the molecular cytogenetic changes in metastases of colorectal cancer is not yet available. To define such changes in metastases, we measured relative DNA sequence copy numbers by comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). Samples from 27 liver metastases and 6 synchronous primary tumors were analyzed. An average of 9.9 aberrations per tumor was found in the metastases. Gains of chromosome arms 20q (85%), 13q (48%), 7p (44%), and 8q (44%) and losses of chromosome arms 18q (89%), 8p (59%), 1p (56%), and 18p (48%) were detected most frequently. Chromosomes 14 and 15 were lost in 26% and 30% of the metastases, respectively. No consistent differences were observed between primary tumors and synchronous metastases. Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) was used for further characterization of gains of chromosome arm 20q. Touch preparations of 13 tumors that had demonstrated 20q gain with CGH were examined with FISH by use of a set of probes mapping to different parts of 20q. A probe for 20p was used as a reference. FISH showed relative gain of at least one 20q locus in 12 of the tumors. High-level gains were detected in 38% of the tumors, preferentially for probes mapping to band 20q13. Our CGH data indicate that colorectal metastases show chromosomal changes similar to those that have been reported for primary tumors. Chromosomal losses were seen at higher frequency, particularly for chromosomes 14 and 15. By FISH, we identified subregions on chromosome arm 20q that are frequently involved in DNA amplifications in colorectal cancer and that may harbor candidate proto-oncogenes.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chromosome Aberrations / genetics*
  • Chromosome Disorders
  • Chromosomes, Human / genetics*
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 1 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 12 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 13 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 14 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 15 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 18 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 20 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 7 / genetics
  • Chromosomes, Human, Pair 8 / genetics
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence / methods*
  • Liver Neoplasms / genetics
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Nucleic Acid Hybridization / methods*