A gene signature is a group of genes in a cell whose combined expression pattern is uniquely characteristic of a biological phenotype or medical condition. The phenotypes that may theoretically be defined by a gene expression signature range from those that are used to differentiate between different subtypes of a disease, those that predict the survival or prognosis of an individual with a disease, to those that predict activation of a particular pathway. Ideally, gene signatures can be used to select a group of patients for whom a particular treatment will be effective.
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