Large-scale genomic studies promise to advance our understanding of the biology of human cancers and to improve their diagnosis, prognostication, and treatment. The analysis and interpretation of genomics studies have faced challenges. The retrospective and observational design of many studies has rendered them susceptible to confounding and bias. Technological variations and advances have impacted on reproducibility. Statistical hurdles in relating a large number of variables to a small number of observations have added further constraints. This review considers the promise and challenge associated with the large-scale clinically oriented genomic analysis of human cancer and attempts to emphasize potential solutions.