Genetic Heterogeneity and Clonal Evolution of Tumor Cells and their Impact on Precision Cancer Medicine

Hatem E Sabaawy
Journal of Leukemia 2013 November 18, 1 (4): 1000124
The efficacy of targeted therapies in leukemias and solid tumors depends upon the accurate detection and sustained targeting of initial and evolving driver mutations and/or aberrations in cancer cells. Tumor clonal evolution of the diverse populations of cancer cells during cancer progression contributes to the longitudinal variations of clonal, morphological, anatomical, and molecular heterogeneity of tumors. Moreover, drug-resistant subclones present at initiation of therapy or emerging as a result of targeted therapies represent major challenges for achieving success of personalized therapies in providing meaningful improvement in cancer survival rates. Here, I briefly portray tumor cell clonal evolution at the cellular and molecular levels, and present the multiple types of genetic heterogeneity in tumors, with a focus on their impact on the implementation of personalized or precision cancer medicine.

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