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Cellular Oncology
Volume 28, Issue 3, Pages 71-84

Molecular Cytogenetics: Genomic Imbalances in Colorectal Cancer and their Clinical Impact

Marian Grade,1 Heinz Becker,1 Torsten Liersch,1 Thomas Ried,2 and B. Michael Ghadimi1

1Department of General Surgery, University Medical Center Göttingen, Germany
2Genetics Branch, Center for Cancer Research, National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, USA

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Chromosomal aberrations play a dominant role in colorectal carcinogenesis. The application of fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) based techniques such as comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) and spectral karyotyping (SKY) revealed that colorectal carcinomas are characterized by a specific pattern of chromosomal imbalances which sequentially accumulate during cancer progression. This review aims to summarize molecular cytogenetic studies, provides a background on the functional relevance of chromosomal aberrations for colorectal cancer progression and discusses their potential clinical impact.