The application of pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) to the molecular genetic analysis of solid tumours has been restricted by the requirement for whole single cells as a DNA source. A simple technique which allows for the direct analysis of histologically characterised solid tumour material by pulsed field gel electrophoresis was developed. Single frozen tissue sections obtained from colonic carcinoma specimens were embedded without further manipulation in molten, low melting temperature agarose. The tumour DNA contained within the agarose plug was subjected to restriction enzyme digestion and PFGE. Sufficient high molecular weight DNA is yielded by this method to obtain a hybridisation signal with a single copy probe. Histological examination of adjacent tissue sections may also be carried out, permitting correlation between molecular analysis and tumour histology.
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