Clinical and histopathological examination of biopsy samples can generate a large amount of medically important information, but cannot predict disease progression and outcome in many cancers. In 15 July Nature Medicine, David Beer and colleagues at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, show that microchip gene expression profiles can be used to predict patient survival in early-stage lung adenocarcinomas (Nat Med 2002, DOI:10.1038/nm733).

Beer et al. examined the gene-expression profiles based on microarray analysis and the clinical outcome of a cohort of patients with lung adenocarcinoma. They observed that expression of specific genes could predict patient survival in early-stage lung adenocarcinomas. In addition, they developed a risk index based on the top 50 genes identified in low-risk and high-risk adenocarcinomas and this risk index predicted survival in an independent cohort of patients with lung adenocarcinomas.

"Clearly, the identification of a high-risk group among patients with...

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