A new branch on the tree: next-generation sequencing in the study of cancer evolution

Semin Cell Dev Biol. 2012 Apr;23(2):237-42. doi: 10.1016/j.semcdb.2011.12.008. Epub 2012 Jan 8.


Cancer is a disease caused by the accumulation of genetic alterations in association with successive waves of clonal expansion. Mapping of the human genome sequence, in conjunction with technical advances in the ability to sequence entire genomes, have provided new insight into the mutational spectra and genetic events associated with clonal evolution of cancer. Moving forward, a clearer understanding of those alterations that undergo positive and negative selection throughout carcinogenesis and leading to metastatic dissemination would provide a boon not only to our understanding of cancer evolution, but to the development of potential targets for therapeutic intervention as well.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Abnormal Karyotype
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Comparative Genomic Hybridization
  • Genes, Neoplasm*
  • Genetic Heterogeneity
  • Genome, Human
  • Genomic Instability
  • Humans
  • Mutation
  • Neoplasm Metastasis / genetics
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Selection, Genetic
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*