Comparison of cryopreservation and standard needle biopsy for gene expression profiling of human breast cancer specimens

David Drubin, J. Stanley Smith, Wenlei Liu, Wei Zhao, Gary A. Chase, Gary A. Clawson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Given the growing importance of molecular profiling of breast cancer, we initiated a small study to test whether human breast biopsies obtained via cryopreservation large core needle biopsy (C-LCNB) provided similar gene expression profiles compared with 'optimally handled' standard large core needle biopsy (S-LCNB) specimens. Five matched pairs of C-LCNB versus S-LCNB were obtained at the same visit, and subjected to gene array expression analysis using the Affymetrix system with U133A chips. No significant changes in gene expression were identified comparing the C-LCNB versus the matched S-LCNB from individual patients. This was corroborated by a paired t-test analysis, which supported the hypothesis that the S/C biopsies measured equivalent samples. A small number of genes (17) showed decreased expression when second biopsies were compared with first biopsies, suggesting a slight patient response to the first biopsy. A scatter plot analysis comparing first biopsy versus second biopsy values disclosed a slope of 0.859, further indicating that the first biopsy affects the second biopsy measurement. It therefore appears that conventional biopsies, when handled appropriately, provide RNA which is equivalent to RNA from biopsies which are frozen immediately, but that multiple biopsy protocols may introduce additional complexities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)93-96
Number of pages4
JournalBreast Cancer Research and Treatment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2005

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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