In the past few years high throughput methods for assessment of DNA copy number alterations have witnessed rapid progress. Both ‘in house’ developed BAC, cDNA, oligonucleotide and commercial arrays are now available and widely applied in the study of the human genome, particularly in the context of disease. Cancer cells are known to exhibit DNA losses, gains and amplifications affecting tumor suppressor genes and proto-oncogenes. Moreover, these patterns of genomic imbalances may be associated with particular tumor types or subtypes and may have prognostic value. Here we summarize recent array CGH findings in neuroblastoma, a pediatric tumor of the sympathetic nervous system. A total of 176 primary tumors and 53 cell lines have been analyzed on different platforms. Through these studies the genomic content and boundaries of deletions, gains and amplifications were characterized with unprecedented accuracy. Furthermore, in conjunction with cytogenetic findings, array CGH allows the mapping of breakpoints of unbalanced translocations at a very high resolution.
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