Alu profiling of primary and metastatic nonsmall cell lung cancer

Wieslaw B. Furmaga, Julie L. Ryan, William B. Coleman, Solon R. Cole, Gregory J. Tsongalis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


The metastatic potential of nonsmall cell carcinoma of lung (NSCLC), is currently recognized post factum, when lymph nodes or distant organs are already involved. Our ability to determine which tumors have acquired metastatic potential could help direct therapy to be more aggressive or less aggressive based upon this information. Evaluation of microsatellite instability via detection of LOH at specific loci may be useful in identifying specific markers and/or genes associated with this process. We examined Alu insertional elements as a potential marker of genetic changes associated with the metastatic potential of NSCLC. We analyzed archived, paraffin embedded tissue from 20 proven cases of NSCLC. DNA was extracted from 10 micron paraffin sections and amplified using an Alu PCR protocol. This technique does not examine specific loci but rather results in a banding profile of cellular genomic DNA. Informative allelic banding patterns, noted as differences between primary and metastatic lesions from the same patient, were observed in five of six cases (83%) with intrapulmonary metastases and in only nine of 14 (64%) cases with extrapulmonary metastases. Multiple genomic changes were detected in metastatic tumor cells as compared to normal lung tissue or primary lung tumor tissue. It appears that Alu profiling may be useful in the detection of metastatic vs primary lesions, and this technique may offer a method for identifying novel genes responsible for tumor progression and metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)224-229
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental and Molecular Pathology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Alu
  • Microsatellite
  • PCR
  • Pulmonary metastatic carcinoma
  • Pulmonary nonsmall cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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