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High quality and quantity Genome-wide germline genotypes from FFPE normal tissue

Lisa A Cannon-Albright12*, Kendal G Cooper3, Ann Georgelas3 and Philip S Bernard45

Author Affiliations

1 Genetic Epidemiology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Utah School of Medicine, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

2 George E. Wahlen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

3 Tissue Resource and Applications Core, Huntsman Cancer Institute, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

4 Department of Pathology, University of Utah Health Sciences Center, Salt Lake City, UT, USA

5 The ARUP Institute for Clinical and Experimental Pathology, SLC, Utah, USA

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BMC Research Notes 2011, 4:159  doi:10.1186/1756-0500-4-159

Published: 26 May 2011



Although collections of formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples exist, sometimes representing decades of stored samples, they have not typically been utilized to their full potential. Normal tissue from such samples would be extremely valuable for generation of genotype data for individuals who cannot otherwise provide a DNA sample.


We extracted DNA from normal tissue identified in FFPE tissue blocks from prostate surgery and obtained complete genome wide genotype data for over 500,000 SNP markers for these samples, and for DNA extracted from whole blood for 2 of the cases, for comparison.

Four of the five FFPE samples of varying age and amount of tissue had identifiable normal tissue. We obtained good quality genotype data for between 89 and 99% of all SNP markers for the 4 samples from FFPE. Concordance rates of over 99% were observed for the 2 samples with DNA from both FFPE and from whole blood.


DNA extracted from normal FFPE tissue provides excellent quality and quantity genome-wide genotyping data representing germline DNA, sufficient for both linkage and association analyses. This allows genetic analysis of informative individuals who are no longer available for sampling in genetic studies.