Aim: To study the pathogenetic processes and the role of gene expression by microarray analyses in expediting our understanding of the molecular pathophysiology of pancreatic adenocarcinoma, and to identify the novel cancer-associated genes.
Methods: Nine histologically defined pancreatic head adenocarcinoma specimens associated with clinical data were studied. Total RNA and mRNA were isolated and labeled by reverse transcription reaction with Cy5 and Cy3 for cDNA probe. The cDNA microarrays that represent a set of 4 096 human genes were hybridized with labeled cDNA probe and screened for molecular profiling analyses.
Results: Using this methodology, 184 genes were screened out for differences in gene expression level after nine couples of hybridizations. Of the 184 genes, 87 were upregulated and 97 downregulated, including 11 novel human genes. In pancreatic adenocarcinoma tissue, several invasion and metastasis related genes showed their high expression levels, suggesting that poor prognosis of pancreatic adenocarcinoma might have a solid molecular biological basis.
Conclusion: The application of cDNA microarray technique for analysis of gene expression patterns is a powerful strategy to identify novel cancer-associated genes, and to rapidly explore their role in clinical pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Microarray profiles provide us new insights into the carcinogenesis and invasive process of pancreatic adenocarcinoma. Our results suggest that a highly organized and structured process of tumor invasion exists in the pancreas.