Genomic analyses of breast cancer progression reveal distinct routes of metastasis emergence

Anne Bruun Krøigård, Martin Jakob Larsen, Charlotte Brasch-Andersen, Anne Vibeke Lænkholm, Ann S. Knoop, Jeanette Dupont Jensen, Martin Bak, Jan Mollenhauer, Mads Thomassen, Torben A. Kruse*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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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.

Original languageEnglish
Article number43813
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Number of pages9
ISSN2045-2322
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

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