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Nat Rev Genet. 2019 Jul;20(7):404-416. doi: 10.1038/s41576-019-0114-6.

Resolving genetic heterogeneity in cancer.

Author information

1
Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK.
2
Skin and Renal Units, The Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK.
3
Evolutionary Genomics and Modelling Laboratory, Centre for Evolution and Cancer, The Institute of Cancer Research, London, UK.
4
Tumour Biology, Evolution and Cancer Laboratory, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK. t.graham@qmul.ac.uk.
5
Cancer Evolution and Genome Instability Laboratory, Francis Crick Institute, London, UK. charles.swanton@crick.ac.uk.
6
Cancer Research UK Lung Cancer Centre of Excellence London, University College London Cancer Institute, London, UK. charles.swanton@crick.ac.uk.
7
Department of Medical Oncology, University College London Hospitals, London, UK. charles.swanton@crick.ac.uk.

Abstract

To a large extent, cancer conforms to evolutionary rules defined by the rates at which clones mutate, adapt and grow. Next-generation sequencing has provided a snapshot of the genetic landscape of most cancer types, and cancer genomics approaches are driving new insights into cancer evolutionary patterns in time and space. In contrast to species evolution, cancer is a particular case owing to the vast size of tumour cell populations, chromosomal instability and its potential for phenotypic plasticity. Nevertheless, an evolutionary framework is a powerful aid to understand cancer progression and therapy failure. Indeed, such a framework could be applied to predict individual tumour behaviour and support treatment strategies.

PMID:
30918367
DOI:
10.1038/s41576-019-0114-6
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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