In the study of diseases like cancer, it's not enough to know whether a gene is mutated or normal—it's also important to know whether that gene is expressed and how it is expressed. Transcriptome analysis of cancer samples is of growing importance in understanding how the altered expression of genetic variants contributes to cancer and other diseases. Analysis of differential RNA expression provides researchers with greater insights into biological pathways and molecular mechanisms that regulate cell fate, development, and disease progression.

Methods Used

Next-generation sequencing and advances in real-time PCR (qPCR) throughput have revolutionized the way differential gene expression is analyzed, including variability between gene alleles and differently spliced transcripts, non-coding RNAs, post-transcriptional mutations and editing, and gene fusions. Currently, DNA microarrays are the most widely used method to analyze global patterns of gene expression. However, because microarrays are hybridization-based, you cannot use them to detect RNA transcripts absent in your array design or repeated sequences. Also, microarrays offer limited dynamic range to detect subtle changes in the expression level of target genes, which is critical for understanding biological responses to stimuli or environmental changes.

Discover, profile, and functionally analyze more mRNA and non-coding RNAs that regulate cancer with sequencing technologies that provide significant advantages over microarray and flexible real-time PCR assay formats for meeting high, medium, and low throughput needs.

Transcriptome Sequencing
Identify and quantify both known and novel transcripts with a theoretically unlimited dynamic range. Reveal the diversity and subtleties of the transcriptome with Ion RNA-Seq on Ion Proton™ Sequencer or the 5500xl SOLiD® Sequencer.

Targeted RNA Sequencing
Determine relative changes in human RNA expression without the need to sequence the entire transcriptome with as little as 5ng of RNA isolated from formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded (FFPE) samples.

Gene Expression Analysis by Real-Time PCR
Sensitively detect virtually any gene product in human, mouse, and rat with access to more than 1.3 million predesigned TaqMan® Gene Expression Assays.

Small RNA and miRNA sequencing
Identify and analyze new miRNA and Small RNA expression profiles in cancer samples.

Cancer RNA Expression Webinars

Learn how Life Technologies solutions are being used to identify novel RNA expression signatures from across the human transcriptome and overcome many of the challenges of working with tumor tissues in the research setting.

RNA Sequencing Webinar Series

A specialized TaqMan® Array for pancreatic cancer research combining mRNA and miRNA analysis in a single microfluidic card

Speakers: Timothy Triche, Audrey Papp, Rob Tarbox
Children's Hospital LA, Ohio State University,
Life Technologies
Duration: 3:10:29

Speaker: Dr. Malte Buchholz
Clinic for Gastroenterology,
University of Marburg, Germany
Duration: 28.10

See all cancer research webinars

Cancer RNA Expression Posters

Access scientific posters demonstrating new results and methodologies in cancer RNA expression profiling from recent scientific conferences.


Gene expression of EdU proliferating cells using Ion Torrent™ sequencing made possible with improved click chemistry

AACR 2013


Identification of Potential miRNA Biomarkers for Breast Cancer Using TaqMan® Pri-miRNA Assays

AACR 2011

See all cancer research posters

For Research Use Only. Not for use in diagnostic procedures.