Tissue microarrays in clinical oncology

Semin Radiat Oncol. 2008 Apr;18(2):89-97. doi: 10.1016/j.semradonc.2007.10.006.


Tissue microarray (TMA) is a recently implemented, high-throughput technology for the analysis of molecular markers in oncology. This research tool permits the rapid assessment of a biomarker in thousands of tumor samples, using commonly available laboratory assays such as immunohistochemistry and in situ hybridization. Although introduced less than a decade ago, TMA has proven to be invaluable in the study of tumor biology, the development of diagnostic tests, and the investigation of oncologic biomarkers. This review describes the impact of TMA-based research in clinical oncology and its potential future applications. Technical aspects of TMA construction and the advantages and disadvantages inherent to this technology are also discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Genetic Markers / genetics
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence
  • Neoplasm Proteins / analysis*
  • Neoplasm Proteins / genetics
  • Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / methods*
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis / trends
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results


  • Genetic Markers
  • Neoplasm Proteins