A simple inexpensive method for the production of tissue microarrays from needle biopsy specimens: examples with prostate cancer

Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2005 Mar;13(1):96-103. doi: 10.1097/00129039-200503000-00016.


The use of tissue microarrays has become an efficient method for the high-throughput analysis of tissues with molecular markers, yet these studies have not been used to leverage the limited materials present in needle biopsies of human tissues. The use of these biopsy tissues is crucial to study diseases in patients who are treated by nonsurgical methods such as radiation, chemotherapy, or palliative care. The authors present a simple, inexpensive method for using needle biopsy specimens in tissue microarrays. Using this process with prostate cancer specimens, the authors demonstrate that over 150 slides can be produced from a single area of cancer in a needle biopsy and that the length of the core involved by cancer in the needle biopsy determines the number of available tissue microarray slides. The authors also note the optimal number of samples (three) needed from a single patient biopsy to guarantee sufficient material for analysis and perform an immunohistochemical correlation between needle biopsy and surgical resection tissue microarray samples for the quantitative marker Ki-67. This process can be extended to any type of needle biopsy specimen, increasing the number of studies and potential use of these tissues as a practical reality.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Cytological Techniques / economics*
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Ki-67 Antigen / metabolism
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor
  • Ki-67 Antigen