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International Journal of Genomics
Volume 2017, Article ID 1926304, 9 pages
Review Article

The Utilization of Formalin Fixed-Paraffin-Embedded Specimens in High Throughput Genomic Studies

1Department of Cancer Biology, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
2Department of Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA
3Department of Biostatistics, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Yan Guo; ude.tlibrednav@oug.nay

Received 28 November 2016; Accepted 9 January 2017; Published 26 January 2017

Academic Editor: Marco Gerdol

Copyright © 2017 Pan Zhang et al. 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.


High throughput genomic assays empower us to study the entire human genome in short time with reasonable cost. Formalin fixed-paraffin-embedded (FFPE) tissue processing remains the most economical approach for longitudinal tissue specimen storage. Therefore, the ability to apply high throughput genomic applications to FFPE specimens can expand clinical assays and discovery. Many studies have measured the accuracy and repeatability of data generated from FFPE specimens using high throughput genomic assays. Together, these studies demonstrate feasibility and provide crucial guidance for future studies using FFPE specimens. Here, we summarize the findings of these studies and discuss the limitations of high throughput data generated from FFPE specimens across several platforms that include microarray, high throughput sequencing, and NanoString.