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  • Meeting abstract
  • Open Access

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

Journal of Translational Medicine201210 (Suppl 2) :A7

  • Published:


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

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.

Authors’ Affiliations

Genomic Medicine, MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, USA


© Futreal; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. 2012

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 (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.