Cancer genomes

Cancer is a genetic/genomic disorder where a set of accumulated somatic alterations play a role in the initiation and progression of the disease.

Various types of genomic alterations can occur in the cancer genomes somatically and they include small-scaled single nucleotide substitutions, indels (short insertions and deletions) and large-scaled chromosomal copy number alterations, translocations.

Somatic alterations occurring in the cancer genomes may alter the behaviors of the affected genes – activation of (proto)oncogenes and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes playing roles in the carcinogenesis.

Transcriptional and epigenetic alterations are also common in the cancer genomes. The expression profiling of mRNAs and miRNAs have been often used for molecular taxonomy or stratification of tumors.