Genomic analysis and selected molecular pathways in rare cancers

Stephen V. Liu, Elizabeth Lenkiewicz, Lisa Evers, Tara Holley, Jeffrey Kiefer, Christian Ruiz, Katharina Glatz, Lukas Bubendorf, Michael J. Demeure, Cathy Eng, Ramesh K. Ramanathan, Daniel D. Von Hoff, Michael T. Barrett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


It is widely accepted that many cancers arise as a result of an acquired genomic instability and the subsequent evolution of tumor cells with variable patterns of selected and background aberrations. The presence and behaviors of distinct neoplastic cell populations within a patient's tumor may underlie multiple clinical phenotypes in cancers. A goal of many current cancer genome studies is the identification of recurring selected driver events that can be advanced for the development of personalized therapies. Unfortunately, in the majority of rare tumors, this type of analysis can be particularly challenging. Large series of specimens for analysis are simply not available, allowing recurring patterns to remain hidden. In this paper, we highlight the use of DNA content-based flow sorting to identify and isolate DNA-diploid and DNA-aneuploid populations from tumor biopsies as a strategy to comprehensively study the genomic composition and behaviors of individual cancers in a series of rare solid tumors: intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, anal carcinoma, adrenal leiomyosarcoma, and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors. We propose that the identification of highly selected genomic events in distinct tumor populations within each tumor can identify candidate driver events that can facilitate the development of novel, personalized treatment strategies for patients with cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number065004
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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