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Metaphase FISH – A Powerful Tool in Cancer Cytogenetics

From the 2019 Joint Annual Meeting (June 26, 2019)
Presented by Carlos Tirado, Ph.D., FACMGG
Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) is a powerful technique used in the detection of chromosomal abnormalities. The high sensitivity and specificity of FISH and the speed with which the assays can be performed have made FISH a pivotal cytogenetic technique that has provided significant advances in both the research and diagnosis of hematological malignancies and solid tumors. From a medical perspective, FISH can be applied to elucidate complex rearrangements where G banding is inconclusive. I am presenting several cases where G banding was not able to give us an answer. FISH on previously G banded metaphases helped in all situations to characterize complex rearrangements where a specific abnormality was associated with a particular hematological malignancy. It helped to monitor the progression of an abnormality in both the diagnosis of a genetic disease or suggested prognostic outcomes. With the new WHO where more chromosomal abnormalities are being considered in certain neoplasias and tumors, metaphase FISH has revolutionized the field of cancer cytogenetics and has become well established in its potential as a diagnostic and discovery tool in the fight against cancer.

At the conclusion of this presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify the main abnormalities seen in neoplasias
  2. Discuss the probes used in FISH
  3. Describe methods to monitor hematological malignancies and cancer

This recorded presentation is P.A.C.E. ® accredited. The instruction level for this activity is Intermediate. One (1) P.A.C.E. ® contact hour and one (1) Florida credit hour in the area General (cytogenetics) will be awarded to participants. ASCLS P.A.C.E.® is accepted by the ASCP/ASCLS/AGT Board of Certification and all states, including Florida and California, as an approved provider of continuing education for recertification and licensure. ASCLS is an approved provider with CE Broker for Florida licensees.

This intermediate-level program is appropriate for laboratory professionals working in clinical, public health and academic settings.