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Cell. 2013 Jan 31;152(3):387-9. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2013.01.027.

GWAS meets TCGA to illuminate mechanisms of cancer predisposition.

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1
Department of Cell Biology, University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX 75390, USA.

Abstract

Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have unraveled a large number of cancer risk alleles. Understanding how these allelic variants predispose to disease is a major bottleneck confronting translational application. In this issue, Li and colleagues combine GWASs with The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) to disambiguate the contributions of germline and somatic variants to tumorigenic gene expression programs. They find that close to half of the known risk alleles for estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer are expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) acting upon major determinants of gene expression in tumors.

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