Somatic mutation and clonal expansions in human tissues

Genome Med. 2019 May 28;11(1):35. doi: 10.1186/s13073-019-0648-4.


Recent sequencing studies on healthy skin and esophagus have found that, as we age, these tissues become colonized by mutant clones of cells carrying driver mutations in traditional cancer genes. This comment summarizes these findings and discusses their possible implications for our understanding of cancer, ageing, and other diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinogenesis / genetics*
  • Carcinogenesis / pathology
  • Clonal Evolution*
  • DNA, Neoplasm / genetics
  • Esophageal Mucosa / cytology
  • Esophageal Mucosa / growth & development
  • Esophageal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Mutation Rate


  • DNA, Neoplasm