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The Genetics of Pancreatic Cancer

-- The Discoveries

 

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FISH Picture of Pancreatic Cancer

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Fluorescent In-Situ Hybridization (FISH) using a chromosomal paint for chromosome 13 (in green) and a probe from near the BRCA2 gene (in red), applied to a metaphase spread from the pancreatic cancer cell line Colo357. This cell line has a translocation near, but not exactly at, the BRCA2 gene. If you look carefully, you will see green color extends on both sides of the red dots, indicating that the BRCA2 gene is entirely contained within an undisturbed portion of the chromosome 13. The multiple forms of chromosome 13, including both 'head to head' and 'head to tail' rearrangements which produce a double version of the chromosome, as well as some normal copies of the chromosome, illustrate well the bizarre chromosomal rearrangements which can be seen in pancreatic cancer. Note also the eight copies of the chromosome instead of the normal two. This is one of the manifestations of the property of cancer cells called 'aneuploidy', where the number and structure of the chromosomes is altered.