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The somatic genetic architecture of human cancer: heterogeneity and the challenges for translational medicine

Advances in sequencing technology have led to an unprecedented opportunity to characterize the genomes of human cancers. Our work has been focused on characterizing intra- and intertumoral heterogeneity in several tumor types. Work on breast cancer has revealed substantial complexity of operative cancer genes, with marked diversity between cancers revealed by exome sequencing. Further work in both renal and breast cancer has begun to define the architecture of intratumoral heterogeneity – revealing evidence for substantial branched and, in some cases, convergent evolution within the same tumors. These data and others, particularly as they relate to the challenges of translation and genomics-base medicine will be discussed.

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Correspondence to Andy Futreal.

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This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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Futreal, A. The somatic genetic architecture of human cancer: heterogeneity and the challenges for translational medicine. J Transl Med 10, A7 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1479-5876-10-S2-A7

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Keywords

  • Breast Cancer
  • Human Cancer
  • Tumor Type
  • Sequencing Technology
  • Cancer Gene