Genomic Analyses of Breast Cancer Progression Reveal Distinct Routes of Metastasis Emergence

Scientific Reports
Anne Bruun KrøigårdTorben A Kruse

Abstract

A main controversy in cancer research is whether metastatic abilities are present in the most advanced clone of the primary tumor or result from independently acquired aberrations in early disseminated cancer cells as suggested by the linear and the parallel progression models, respectively. The genetic concordance between different steps of malignant progression is mostly unexplored as very few studies have included cancer samples separated by both space and time. We applied whole exome sequencing and targeted deep sequencing to 26 successive samples from six patients with metastatic estrogen receptor (ER)-positive breast cancer. Our data provide support for both linear and parallel progression towards metastasis. We report for the first time evidence of metastasis-to-metastasis seeding in breast cancer. Our results point to three distinct routes of metastasis emergence. This may have profound clinical implications and provides substantial novel molecular insights into the timing and mutational evolution of breast cancer metastasis.

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Related Concepts

Study
Research
Genome
Estrogen receptor alpha, human
LIM Domain Protein
Primary Neoplasm
Malignant Bone Neoplasm
Neoplasms
Cancer Progression
Anatomical Space Structure

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