Technology insight: Identification of biomarkers with tissue microarray technology

Nat Clin Pract Oncol. 2004 Dec;1(2):104-11. doi: 10.1038/ncponc0046.


High-throughput technologies have been developed in the hope of increasing the pace of biomedical research, and accelerating the rate of translation from bench to bedside. Using such technology in target discovery has resulted in the need for systematic validation of the targets in an equally rapid manner. For example, gene expression microarrays have highlighted many potential targets in cancer, and tissue microarrays have emerged as a powerful tool to validate these targets by measuring tumor-specific protein expression and linking it to clinical outcome. Automated quantitative analysis of the tissue microarray 'spots' is beginning to take the technology a step further, removing observer bias, and providing standards for quality control and the potential for high-throughput analysis. The validation required for translation of tissue biomarkers from the research lab to the clinical lab will probably rely heavily on the combination of tissue microarray technology with automated quantitative analysis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / metabolism*
  • Gene Expression Profiling*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Neoplasms / pathology
  • Tissue Array Analysis*


  • Biomarkers, Tumor