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Nat Rev Genet. 2011 Jun 17;12(7):487-98. doi: 10.1038/nrg3013.

Towards systematic functional characterization of cancer genomes.

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Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, 7 Cambridge Center, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02142, USA.


Whole-genome approaches to identify genetic and epigenetic alterations in cancer genomes have begun to provide new insights into the range of molecular events that occurs in human tumours. Although in some cases this knowledge immediately illuminates a path towards diagnostic or therapeutic implementation, the bewildering lists of mutations in each tumour make it clear that systematic functional approaches are also necessary to obtain a comprehensive molecular understanding of cancer. Here we review the current range of methods, assays and approaches for genome-scale interrogation of gene function in cancer. We also discuss the integration of functional-genomics approaches with the outputs from cancer genome sequencing efforts.

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