Expression profiling by microarrays in colorectal cancer (Review)

Oncol Rep. 2005 Mar;13(3):517-24.


Genome-wide gene profiling studies using microarrays have the potential to improve diagnosis and treatment of human cancers. Microarrays have identified many genes that are deregulated in colorectal cancer compared to normal tissue. Groups of genes that are predictive of tumor stage or presence of metastases, hence putatively associated with cancer progression have also been revealed. Microarray studies have identified genes whose expression are impacted by chemotherapies for colorectal cancer, thus could potentially be used to predict response to treatments. Unique gene expression profiles have also been used to classify metastases of uncertain origin. The wide application of microarrays generates exciting prospects in translational research. However, to date overlaps of candidate gene lists associated with specific clinical/biological phenotypes remain disturbingly poor between studies. Overfitting, bias, reporting of only the best results, and fidelity of probe annotations could present limitations for the interpretation of results shown in microarray publications. Making raw data from these microarray experiments publicly available for analysis by other investigators using different analytical algorithms or for in silico studies may facilitate the most thorough mining of data from these expensive studies. Validations of the results using other more precise techniques and at the biological level represent critical follow-up goals for microarray studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / pathology*
  • Carcinoma / genetics*
  • Carcinoma / pathology*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Genome
  • Genotype
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Patient Care Planning
  • Prognosis