Chromosomal catastrophe is a frequent event in clinically insignificant prostate cancer

Irina V. Kovtun, Stephen J. Murphy, Sarah H. Johnson, John C. Cheville, George Vasmatzis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Massive genomic rearrangements, a result of single catastrophic event termed chromothrispsis or chromosomal catastrophe, have been identified in a variety of human cancers. In a few cancer types, chromothripsis was found to be associated with poor prognosis. We performed mate-pair sequencing and analysis of structural rearrangements in 132 prostate cancer cases which included clinically insignificant Gleason score 6 tumors, clinically significant tumors of higher grade (7+) and high grade prostatic intraepithelial neoplasia. Chromothripsis was observed at least 30 per cent of the samples across different grades. Surprisingly, it was frequently observed in clinically insignificant Gleason score 6 tumors, indicating that chromothripsis does not define more aggressive phenotype. The degree of chromothripsis did not increase significantly in tumors of advanced grades and did not appear to contribute to tumor progression. Our data showed that distribution of chromothriptic rearrangements differed from that of fragile sites but correlated with the size of chromosomes. We also provided evidence that rearrangements resulting from chromothripsis were present in the cells of neighboring Gleason patterns of the same tumor. Our data suggest that that chromothripsis plays role in prostate cancer initiation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)29087-29096
Number of pages10
Issue number30
StatePublished - 2015


  • Catastrophe
  • Chromothripsis
  • Genomic rearrangements
  • Gleason score
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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