Gene expression profiling could assist in revealing biomarkers of lung cancer prognosis and progression. The handling of biological samples may strongly influence global gene expression, a fact that has not been addressed in many studies. We sought to investigate the changes in gene expression that may occur as a result of sample processing time and conditions. Using Illumina Human WG-6 arrays, we quantified gene expression in lung carcinoma samples from six patients obtained at chest opening before and immediately after lung resection with storage in RNAlater [T1a (CO) and T1b (LR)], after receipt of the sample for histopathology, placed in RNAlater [T2a (HP)]; snap frozen [T2b (HP.SF)]; or snap frozen and stored for 1 week [T2c (HP.SFA)], as well as formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) block samples. Sampling immediately after resection closely represented the tissue obtained in situ, with only 1% of genes differing more than twofold [T1a (CO) versus T1b (LR)]. Delaying tissue harvest for an average of 30 minutes from the operating theater had a significant impact on gene expression, with approximately 25% of genes differing between T1a (CO) and T2a (HP). Many genes previously identified as lung cancer biomarkers were altered during this period. Examination of FFPE specimens showed minimal correlation with fresh samples. This study shows that tissue collection immediately after lung resection with conservation in RNAlater is an optimal strategy for gene expression profiling. © 2012 American Society for Investigative Pathology and the Association for Molecular Pathology.
Freidin, M. B., Bhudia, N., Lim, E., Nicholson, A. G., Cookson, W. O., & Moffatt, M. F. (2012). Impact of collection and storage of lung tumor tissue on whole genome expression profiling. Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, 14(2), 140–148. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jmoldx.2011.11.002