Genomic instability appears to play an important role in the development, growth, invasiveness, and eventual metastasis of the neoplastic cell. We have used a powerful new technique, comparative genomic hybridization, to evaluate genetic alterations in 10 fresh frozen uveal melanomas. Comparative genomic hybridization utilizes dual fluorescence in situ hybridization to characterize chromosome deletions and duplications, allowing for simultaneous evaluation of the entire human genome. Several consistent chromosomal abnormalities were detected. This study confirmed previous findings obtained using standard cytogenetic techniques but demonstrated an increased incidence in abnormalities of chromosomes 3 and 8; there was loss of chromosome 3 and duplication of 8q. In addition, we identified, although less frequently, other recurrent abnormal regions including alterations on chromosomes 6p, 7q, 9p, and 13q.

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This study was supported by That Man May See, San Francisco, and Research to Prevent Blindness, New York.

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