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Formic acid decalcification of bone marrow trephines degrades DNA: alternative use of EDTA allows the amplification and sequencing of relatively long PCR products

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We recently reported a new method for the extraction of DNA from paraffin wax embedded bone marrow trephine biopsies.1 The DNA extracted from EDTA decalcified bone marrow trephine biopsies using this method was sufficiently intact to allow the amplification and sequencing of relatively long polymerase chain reaction (PCR) products, including the 600 bp t(11;14) MTCA PCR product. A shorter 294 bp PCR product could only be amplified from six of 10 formic acid decalcified bone marrow trephine biopsies reported in a previous study by Provan et al.2 These findings suggested a correlation between DNA degradation and formic acid decalcification, but required a comparative study for confirmation.J Clin Pathol: Mol Pathol 2000;53:336–337

We have subsequently extracted DNA from 11 formic acid decalcified bone marrow trephine biopsies using our method and determined the …

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