Jul 23, 2015

Cancer classification in the genomic era: five contemporary problems

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Qingxuan SongJun Z Li

Abstract

Classification is an everyday instinct as well as a full-fledged scientific discipline. Throughout the history of medicine, disease classification is central to how we develop knowledge, make diagnosis, and assign treatment. Here we discuss the classification of cancer, the process of categorizing cancer subtypes based on their observed clinical and biological features. Traditionally, cancer nomenclature is primarily based on organ location, e.g., "lung cancer" designates a tumor originating in lung structures. Within each organ-specific major type, finer subgroups can be defined based on patient age, cell type, histological grades, and sometimes molecular markers, e.g., hormonal receptor status in breast cancer, or microsatellite instability in colorectal cancer. In the past 15+ years, high-throughput technologies have generated rich new data regarding somatic variations in DNA, RNA, protein, or epigenomic features for many cancers. These data, collected for increasingly large tumor collections, have provided not only new insights into the biological diversity of human cancers, but also exciting opportunities to discover previously unrecognized cancer subtypes. Meanwhile, the unprecedented volume and complexity of these data p...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Biological Markers
Classification
Lung
Genome
Microsatellite Instability
Neoplasms
Hormone Receptor
Carcinoma of Lung
Organ
Genomics

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