Cancer is a genetic disease driven by both heritable and somatic alterations in DNA, which underpin not only oncogenesis but also progression and eventual metastasis. The major impetus for elucidating the nature and function of somatic mutations in cancer genomes is the potential for the development of effective targeted anticancer therapies. Over the last decade, high-throughput technologies have allowed us unprecedented access to a host of cancer genomes, leading to an influx of new information about their pathobiology. The challenge now is to integrate such emerging information into clinical practice to achieve tangible benefits for cancer patients. This review examines the roles array-based comparative genomic hybridization and next-generation sequencing are playing in furthering our understanding of both hematological and solid-organ tumors. Furthermore, the authors discuss the current challenges in translating the role of these technologies from bench to bedside.