Reconstructing subclonal composition and evolution from whole genome sequencing of tumors

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Amit G DeshwarQuaid Morris


Tumors often contain multiple, genetically distinct subpopulations of cancerous cells. These so-called subclonal populations are defined by distinct somatic mutations that include point mutations such as single nucleotide variants and small indels - collectively called simple somatic mutations (SSMs) - as well as larger structural changes that result in copy number variations (CNVs). In some cases, the genotype and prevalence of these subpopulations can be reconstructed based on high-throughput, short-read sequencing of DNA in one or more tumor samples. To date, no automated SSM-based subclonal reconstructions have been attempted on WGS data; and CNV-based reconstructions are limited to tumors with two or fewer cancerous subclonal populations and with a small number of CNVs. We describe a new automated method, PhyloWGS, that can be applied to WGS data from one or more tumor samples to perform subclonal reconstruction based on both CNVs and SSMs. PhyloWGS successfully recovers the composition of mixtures of a highly rearranged TGCA cell line when a CNV-based method fails. On WGS data with average read depth of 40 from five time-series chronic lymphocytic leukemia samples, PhyloWGS recovers the same tumor phylogeny previously re...Continue Reading

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