Mutational signatures and processes in hepatobiliary cancers

Research output: Contribution to journalReviewResearchpeer-review

The evolutionary history of hepatobiliary cancers is embedded in their genomes. By analysing their catalogue of somatic mutations and the DNA sequence context in which they occur, it is possible to infer the mechanisms underpinning tumorigenesis. These mutational signatures reflect the exogenous and endogenous origins of genetic damage as well as the capacity of hepatobiliary cells to repair and replicate DNA. Genomic analysis of thousands of patients with hepatobiliary cancers has highlighted the diversity of mutagenic processes active in these malignancies, highlighting a prominent source of the inter-cancer-type, inter-patient, intertumour and intratumoural heterogeneity that is observed clinically. However, a substantial proportion of mutational signatures detected in hepatocellular carcinoma and biliary tract cancer remain of unknown cause, emphasizing the important contribution of processes yet to be identified. Exploiting mutational signatures to retrospectively understand hepatobiliary carcinogenesis could advance preventative management of these aggressive tumours as well as potentially predict treatment response and guide the development of therapies targeting tumour evolution.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNature Reviews. Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Pages (from-to)367-382
Publication statusPublished - 2022

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