Mechanisms of chromosomal instability (CIN) tolerance in aggressive tumors: surviving the genomic chaos

Brittiny Dhital, Veronica Rodriguez-Bravo

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Chromosomal instability (CIN) is a pervasive feature of human cancers involved in tumor initiation and progression and which is found elevated in metastatic stages. CIN can provide survival and adaptation advantages to human cancers. However, too much of a good thing may come at a high cost for tumor cells as excessive degree of CIN-induced chromosomal aberrations can be detrimental for cancer cell survival and proliferation. Thus, aggressive tumors adapt to cope with ongoing CIN and most likely develop unique susceptibilities that can be their Achilles’ heel. Determining the differences between the tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing effects of CIN at the molecular level has become one of the most exciting and challenging aspects in cancer biology. In this review, we summarized the state of knowledge regarding the mechanisms reported to contribute to the adaptation and perpetuation of aggressive tumor cells carrying CIN. The use of genomics, molecular biology, and imaging techniques is significantly enhancing the understanding of the intricate mechanisms involved in the generation of and adaptation to CIN in experimental models and patients, which were not possible to observe decades ago. The current and future research opportunities provided by these advanced techniques will facilitate the repositioning of CIN exploitation as a feasible therapeutic opportunity and valuable biomarker for several types of human cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number15
JournalChromosome Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • CIN
  • CIN adaptation
  • CIN tumors therapeutic vulnerabilities
  • Cancer
  • Metastasis
  • Therapy resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


Dive into the research topics of 'Mechanisms of chromosomal instability (CIN) tolerance in aggressive tumors: surviving the genomic chaos'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this