Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

The detection of genetic abnormalities (eg, translocations, amplifications) in paraffin-embedded samples by the fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) technique is usually performed on tissue sections. FISH analysis of nuclei extracted from paraffin-embedded samples is also possible, but the technique is not widely used, principally because of the extra labor involved and the loss of information on tissue architecture. In this article, we report that nuclei extracted from paraffin-embedded tissue often retain at least part of the surrounding cytoplasm. Consequently, immunocytochemical labeling for a range of cellular markers (eg, of lineage or proliferation) can be performed in combination with FISH labeling, allowing specific cell populations to be analyzed for genetic abnormalities. These cell preparations are largely free of the problems associated with tissue sections (eg, truncation artifact, signals in different focal planes) so that interpretation is easy and numerical chromosomal abnormalities are readily assessed. Cells isolated from paraffin sections can be stored in suspension so that arrays can be created as and when needed from a range of neoplasms for investigation by the immunoFISH technique (for example, for studying a new genetic abnormality). This procedure represents a novel methodology, which in some settings offers clear advantages over analysis of tissue sections.

Original publication




Journal article


J Mol Diagn

Publication Date





479 - 489


Biopsy, Cell Extracts, Cell Separation, Chromosome Aberrations, Flow Cytometry, Humans, Immunohistochemistry, In Situ Hybridization, Fluorescence, Neoplasms, Palatine Tonsil, Paraffin Embedding, Tissue Fixation