top of page
  • Kevin Li

How a FISH Tests For Cancer and Chromosomal Diseases

Ok, now the title is a little misleading as I do not mean literal fish, but I mean fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH). What is FISH? FISH is a technique used by scientists where a certain single stranded DNA is used that matches the opposite base pairs of a certain part of a chromosome and is marked with fluorescent tags. This probe can then be used to identify certain parts of a chromosome. 

Image above demonstrates a FISH test inside a tube

Now how is this useful and why does it exist? FISH was commonly used to identify certain regions of a chromosome. However, it has been replaced by microarrays (another method to detect gene expression) as microarrays are more accurate than FISH. However, FISH still has its uses. Did you know that FISH keeps the chromosome intact since it only attaches another single stranded DNA onto said DNA. Additionally, FISH can be used to highlight certain changes in the chromosome to find chromosomal diseases such as 22q13 deletion syndrome, acute lymphoblastic leukemia, Angelman syndrome, chronic myelogenous leukemia, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and velocardiofacial syndrome. FISH can be used to help with combating cancer. FISH can screen a cancer and identify its genetic makeup by labeling for abnormalities in a part of the chromosome, the deletion of a chromosome, the flipping of a chromosome order, or the duplication of a chromosome. 

Image above depicts fluorescence caused by fluorescence in situ hybridization

0 views0 comments


bottom of page