Background: The rapidly growing amount of array CGH data requires improved visualization software supporting the process of identifying candidate cancer genes. Optimally, such software should work across multiple microarray platforms, should be able to cope with data from different sources and should be easy to operate.
Results: We have developed a web-based software FISH Oracle to visualize data from multiple array CGH experiments in a genomic context. Its fast visualization engine and advanced web and database technology supports highly interactive use. FISH Oracle comes with a convenient data import mechanism, powerful search options for genomic elements (e.g. gene names or karyobands), quick navigation and zooming into interesting regions, and mechanisms to export the visualization into different high quality formats. These features make the software especially suitable for the needs of life scientists.
Conclusions: FISH Oracle offers a fast and easy to use visualization tool for array CGH and SNP array data. It allows for the identification of genomic regions representing minimal common changes based on data from one or more experiments. FISH Oracle will be instrumental to identify candidate onco and tumor suppressor genes based on the frequency and genomic position of DNA copy number changes. The FISH Oracle application and an installed demo web server are available at http://www.zbh.uni-hamburg.de/fishoracle.