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Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis
SJR: 0.631 SNIP: 0.503 CiteScore™: 2

ISSN Imprimir: 0893-9675
ISSN En Línea: 2162-6448

Critical Reviews™ in Oncogenesis

DOI: 10.1615/CritRevOncog.v12.i1-2.40
pages 41-74

Methods for Detection of Subtle Mutations in Cancer Genomes

Christina Dahl
Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
Ulrik Ralfkiaer
Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark
Per Guldberg
Institute of Cancer Biology, Danish Cancer Society, Copenhagen, Denmark


With the realization that cancer is a genetic disease, detection of mutations in genomic DNA has become an important discipline in many areas of cancer research. Although the publication of the human genome sequence and the immense technological advancements have facilitated the analysis of cancer genomes, detection of mutations in tumor specimens may still be challenging and fraught with technical problems. In this review, we describe current technologies for detection of small DNA mutations, including mutation scanning techniques to search for unknown mutations, and diagnostic techniques to detect known cancer mutations. We outline the principles of the different techniques and discuss their advantages and limitations. We also discuss critical issues that must be considered before choosing methodology, including sensitivity, specificity, limit of detection, throughput and cost, quantity and quality of template DNA, available equipment, and personnel expertise.

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