The genomic analyses of a diverse sample of soft-tissue sarcomas - cancer that develops in connective tissue - is reported this week in Nature Genetics. The study identifies genes and signaling pathways involved in various sarcoma subtypes, suggesting potential subtype-specific therapeutic targets.
Soft-tissue sarcomas account for less than one percent of all cancers and are more frequently found in individuals over 50 years of age. Samuel Singer and colleagues report an integrative genomic analysis of 207 soft-tissue sarcoma tumors. As soft-tissue sarcomas are histologically heterogeneous, the samples included representative samples from each of seven major subtypes. The study provides a comprehensive resource for characterizing these diverse sarcoma subtypes for DNA sequence, DNA copy number, and mRNA expression changes. The scientists find several genes that are frequently mutated in particular subtypes, and highlight subtype-specific genomic alterations.