Bicolor fluorescence in situ hybridization on nuclei from formalin- fixed, paraffin-embedded testicular germ cell tumors: Comparison with standard metaphase analysis

Ruthann I. Blough, Teresa A. Smolarek, Thomas M. Ulbright, Nyla A. Heerema

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Rearrangements of chromosome 12, especially i(12p), are common in testicular germ cell tumors (TGCT). We have developed 12p and 12q chromosome arm-specific painting probes far fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) through the use of chromosome microdissection. We developed a method to hybridize these probes to interphase nuclei released from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tumors (PET). In this study, we compared simultaneous bicolor PET FISH painting with metaphase chromosome analysis of fresh tissue from the same tumor. Bicolor PET FISH produced patterns of 12p and 12q hybridization consistent with expectations based on metaphase chromosome analysis; adjoined 12p and 12q regions appeared to detect 'normal' chromosome 12s, whereas relatively large isolated regions of 12p were suggestive of i(12p), and small 12p regions probably represent cryptic rearrangements of 12p. Fourteen tumors with successful cytogenetic analyses and available archival material from the same tumor source were selected for study. In a blinded analysis, PET FISH painting assessment was in very close agreement with karyotypic findings in seven subjects, in close agreement in five, and showed less agreement in two. Differences may be due in part to clonal selection during culture for metaphase studies, or regional selection within the tumor. Although PET FISH painting should not replace standard chromosome analysis, this study shows that it can reliably predict chromosome 12 constitution in TGCT, can serve as a useful adjunct to standard cytogenetics when such analysis is unsuccessful, and can provide limited karyotyping of archival materials.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)79-84
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Genetics and Cytogenetics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Cancer Research

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