Research ArticleCancer

Clonal status of actionable driver events and the timing of mutational processes in cancer evolution

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Science Translational Medicine  15 Apr 2015:
Vol. 7, Issue 283, pp. 283ra54
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aaa1408

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Uncovering a tumor’s family tree

In the era of targeted anticancer drugs, correctly identifying the mutations in a tumor becomes an essential part of optimizing cancer treatment. This is not necessarily straightforward because tumors can contain both “driver” mutations, which control tumor growth and therefore should be blocked with specific drugs, and “passenger” mutations, which, as their name suggests, may not contribute to the progression of a tumor and are unlikely to be useful therapeutic targets. McGranahan et al. identified patterns of driver event evolution in a wide variety of tumor types, revealing specific patterns of mutations that will be important in the design of future therapeutic regimens for cancer.

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