Comparative Molecular Analysis of Gastrointestinal Adenocarcinomas

The Cancer Genome Atlas Research Network

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365 Scopus citations


We analyzed 921 adenocarcinomas of the esophagus, stomach, colon, and rectum to examine shared and distinguishing molecular characteristics of gastrointestinal tract adenocarcinomas (GIACs). Hypermutated tumors were distinct regardless of cancer type and comprised those enriched for insertions/deletions, representing microsatellite instability cases with epigenetic silencing of MLH1 in the context of CpG island methylator phenotype, plus tumors with elevated single-nucleotide variants associated with mutations in POLE. Tumors with chromosomal instability were diverse, with gastroesophageal adenocarcinomas harboring fragmented genomes associated with genomic doubling and distinct mutational signatures. We identified a group of tumors in the colon and rectum lacking hypermutation and aneuploidy termed genome stable and enriched in DNA hypermethylation and mutations in KRAS, SOX9, and PCBP1. Liu et al. analyze 921 gastrointestinal (GI) tract adenocarcinomas and find that hypermutated tumors are enriched for insertions/deletions, upper GI tumors with chromosomal instability harbor fragmented genomes, and a group of genome-stable colorectal tumors are enriched in mutations in SOX9 and PCBP1.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)721-735.e8
JournalCancer Cell
Issue number4
StatePublished - 9 Apr 2018


  • cancer
  • colon
  • colorectal
  • epigenetic
  • esophagus
  • genomic
  • methylation
  • rectum
  • stomach
  • tumor


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