Author(s): Crisan D, Mattson JC, Crisan D, Mattson JC
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Abstract The recent explosion of scientific and technical knowledge in the field of molecular biology has allowed us to make important advances in our understanding of the molecular basis of many human diseases. This technology has now entered the clinical laboratory where identification of specific genetic sequences can aid in the precise diagnosis of hematologic and other malignancies, inherited diseases, specific infectious agents, and inherited predisposition to disease. In addition, it can be applied to prenatal diagnosis, paternity testing, identification of minimal residual disease following treatment, and assessment of drug sensitivity or resistance. In many cases in diagnostic pathology, the need for molecular analysis often is not realized until after a critical tissue specimen has been fixed, embedded, and examined microscopically. Thus, there is a clear need for development of techniques that would allow the retrospective study of archival tissues that have been fixed and embedded in paraffin. This review examines in depth those factors which influence the quality of the DNA available from fixed embedded tissues and discusses the usefulness of polymerase chain reaction amplification in obtaining sufficient diagnostically useful DNA from archival specimens. It is hoped that this review will aid the diagnostic pathologist interested in the application of molecular techniques in the retrospective study of fixed embedded tissues.
This article was published in DNA Cell Biol
and referenced in Advanced Techniques in Biology & Medicine