Multiple-criterion evaluation of reported mutations: a proposed scoring system for the intragenic somatic mutation literature

Cancer Biol Ther. 2006 Apr;5(4):360-70. doi: 10.4161/cbt.5.4.2552. Epub 2006 Apr 1.


In an accompanying paper, we review the theoretical principles of tumor mutations and the observed patterns of mutations in the cancer literature. These patterns are discussed in the context of a perceived dichotomy in quality that exists among mutation reports. Due to the frequency of mis-reporting, a systematic approach to the somatic mutation literature in human cancer is needed. We propose a multiple-criterion numerical tool, referred to as the scoring SISTM (System for Intragenic Somatic Tumor Mutations), which effectively discriminates promising and unpromising somatic mutation reports in human cancer. Reports are assessed on 12 criteria, and are given a final score of 15 or less. Scores in the range of 10 to 15 are suggestive of well-presented reports of disease-inducing somatic mutations. Reports with scores less than 10 should be viewed with skepticism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • DNA Mutational Analysis
  • Humans
  • Loss of Heterozygosity
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Mutation*
  • Mutation, Missense
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Research Design


  • Biomarkers, Tumor