Chromosomal imbalances in nasopharyngeal carcinoma: a meta-analysis of comparative genomic hybridization results

J Transl Med. 2006 Jan 19;4:4. doi: 10.1186/1479-5876-4-4.


Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) is a highly prevalent disease in Southeast Asia and its prevalence is clearly affected by genetic background. Various theories have been suggested for its high incidence in this geographical region but to these days no conclusive explanation has been identified. Chromosomal imbalances identifiable through comparative genomic hybridization may shed some light on common genetic alterations that may be of relevance to the onset and progression of NPC. Review of the literature, however, reveals contradictory results among reported findings possibly related to factors associated with patient selection, stage of disease, differences in methodological details etc. To increase the power of the analysis and attempt to identify commonalities among the reported findings, we performed a meta-analysis of results described in NPC tissues based on chromosomal comparative genomic hybridization (CGH). This meta-analysis revealed consistent patters in chromosomal abnormalities that appeared to cluster in specific "hot spots" along the genome following a stage-dependent progression.