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Study Demonstrates Gene Expression Microarrays are Comparable and Reproducible

For everyone doing or reading a paper about microarray-based experiments, reproductibility, especially inter-lab, is the #1 concern. Can I trust these results? If I redo the same experiment in one month, will I be able to compare both? The NIH recently demonstrated that microarrays experiments performed in different labs "have a high degree of reproducibility, as long as standardized protocols are carefully followed". Good news for the scientific community (and the microarrays producing companies)! A study funded by the National Cancer Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, shows for the first time that microarray data generated in different laboratories can produce highly comparable results. For this comparison study, appearing in the Jan. 15, 2005, Clinical Cancer Research*, four separate laboratories analyzed gene expression (whether genes are turned on or off) for the same set of human tumor tissues. Overall, the expression profiles of portions of individual samples were highly comparable, and the experimental correlation between separate labs was only slightly lower than correlation of duplicated experiments within the same labs.

“This study is a key first step in moving gene expression data from small-scale bench science into large-scale clinical evaluation,?said James Jacobson, Ph.D., chief of NCI’s Diagnostic Biomarkers and Technology Branch. Gene expression microarrays have been used in numerous applications, including identifying novel genes associated with certain cancers, classifying tumors, and predicting patient outcome. So far, though, microarray studies have been performed by individual institutions. Evaluation of the potential clinical use of microarrays may require larger studies carried out in multiple locations and would neces
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Source:NIH


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