A comparative analysis of two tissue procurement approaches for the genomic profiling of clinical colorectal cancer samples
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BACKGROUND: The basis for personalized medicine is the creation of a repository of knowledge about the genetic alterations involved in disease processes. Integral to achieving this goal is the querying of well-preserved, high-quality human tissue samples. Making these findings relevant involves the interrogation of large numbers of samples. The pace with which changes have occurred versus the potential pace with which changes can occur may be indicative of problems associated with traditional approaches on collecting biospecimens. Therefore, transforming personalized medicine from concept to reality may require an alternative approach in the field of tissue specimen procurement. MATERIALS AND METHODS: "Exfoliation and Enrichment" (EE), a recently described rapid and cost-effective approach for procuring cells, was utilized and assessed relative to a more traditional but temporally and economically comparable approach. Material from the same tumor sample, one collected by EE but the other frozen, were procured, the DNA extracted, and the samples analyzed at the global and gene-specific level by array comparative genomic hybridization and quantitative polymerase chain reaction, respectively. RESULTS: Both approaches resulted in the rapid procurement and retrieval of well-preserved cells and nucleic acids. The presence of "contaminating" normal cells in the more traditional approach masked the significance of genetic gains and losses, findings that were more readily apparent from the material derived by the EE method. CONCLUSION: The EE approach represents a cost-effective alternative to traditional cell-procurement methods that results in the generation of superior genomic data.