The development of microarray technology has had a significant impact on the genetic analysis of human disease. The recently developed single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array can be used to measure both DNA polymorphism and dosage changes. Our laboratory has applied SNP microarray analysis to uncover frequent uniparental disomies and sub-microscopic genomic copy number gains and losses in different cancers. This review will focus on the wide range of applications of SNP microarray analysis to cancer research. SNP array genotyping can determine loss of heterozygosity, genomic copy number changes and DNA methylation alterations of cancer cells. The same technology can also be used to investigate allelic association in cancers. Therefore, it can be applied to the identification of cancer predisposition genes, oncogenes and tumor suppressor genes in specific types of tumors. As a consequence, they have potential in cancer risk assessment, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment selection.
Keywords: SNP array, cancer, genome-wide analysis, genotyping and copy number change
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