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Minisatellite DNA probes which can detect a large number of autosomal loci dispersed throughout the human genome were used to examine the constitutional and tumour DNA of 35 patients with a variety of cancers of which eight were of gastrointestinal origin. Somatic changes were seen in the tumour DNA in ten of the 35 cases. The changes included alterations in the relative intensities of hybridising DNA fragments, and, in three cases of cancers of gastrointestinal origin, the appearance of novel minisatellite fragments not seen in the corresponding constitutional DNA. The results of this preliminary study suggests that DNA fingerprint analysis provides a useful technique for identifying somatic changes in cancers.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Cancer

Publication Date





353 - 356


Breast Neoplasms, DNA, Neoplasm, DNA, Satellite, Female, Gastrointestinal Neoplasms, Humans, Lymphoma, Mutation, Nucleic Acid Hybridization, Nucleotide Mapping, Oncogenes