Translating cancer genomes and transcriptomes for precision oncology

CA Cancer J Clin. Jan-Feb 2016;66(1):75-88. doi: 10.3322/caac.21329. Epub 2015 Nov 3.

Abstract

Understanding the molecular landscape of cancer has facilitated the development of diagnostic, prognostic, and predictive biomarkers for clinical oncology. Developments in next-generation DNA sequencing technologies have increased the speed and reduced the cost of sequencing the nucleic acids of cancer cells. This has unlocked opportunities to characterize the genomic and transcriptomic landscapes of cancer for basic science research through projects like The Cancer Genome Atlas. The cancer genome includes DNA-based alterations, such as point mutations or gene duplications. The cancer transcriptome involves RNA-based alterations, including changes in messenger RNAs. Together, the genome and transcriptome can provide a comprehensive view of an individual patient's cancer that is beginning to impact real-time clinical decision-making. The authors discuss several opportunities for translating this basic science knowledge into clinical practice, including a molecular classification of cancer, heritable risk of cancer, eligibility for targeted therapies, and the development of innovative, genomic-based clinical trials. In this review, key applications and new directions are outlined for translating the cancer genome and transcriptome into patient care in the clinic.

Keywords: gene fusion; genomics; neoplasm; patient care; transcriptome.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers, Tumor / genetics
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Genome*
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Transcriptome*
  • Translational Medical Research

Substances

  • Biomarkers, Tumor