MIPs (Molecular Inversion Probe) in cancer

Computer Tomography showing liver metastases

Cancer is a major health issue in developed western countries.  Currently, clinical staging is the most commonly used predictor of overall prognosis, i.e. the return of cancer but oftentimes is poor in predicting recurrence of disease.
Molecular genetic analysis has demonstrated that neoplastic development depends on a series of specific genetic changes such as mutations, deletions within genomic DNA and amplifications of genomic regions. This accelerated accumulation of genetic changes and mutations is referred to as genomic instability, a phenomenon where the rate of drastic genetic alterations increases significantly. Genomic instability impacts a wide spectrum of genes, has a cumulative effect and drives neoplastic progression forward. Specific genomic instability changes may prove to useful in determining prognosis. Before they can be employed clinically, better diagnostic technology is needed for improving the scope and reproducibility of these potential biomarkers.


Hanlee Ji1
Mike Zhang
Jochen Kumm1
James Ford2
Kyle Farnam


2Stanford Oncology

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Potential application of MIP

To address this issue, we describe the potential application of the molecular inversion probe (MIP) assay in genome-wide detection of gene copy alterations in cancer. Molecular inversion probes combine quantitative DNA detection specificity and sensitivity with the potential to analyze large numbers of target sequences in parallel. For genome-wide gene copy number / allelic imbalance analysis, MIPs have many potential advantages over current high-throughput technologies, including the ability to interrogate gene copy number quantitatively at a large number of designated, unrestricted positions across the entire genome.