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Cancer research has previously focused on the identification of specific genes and pathways responsible for cancer initiation and progression based on the prevailing viewpoint that cancer is caused by a stepwise accumulation of genetic aberrations. This viewpoint, however, is not consistent with the clinical finding that tumors display high levels of(More)
While our understanding of gene-based biology has greatly improved, it is clear that the function of the genome and most diseases cannot be fully explained by genes and other regulatory elements. Genes and the genome represent distinct levels of genetic organization with their own coding systems; Genes code parts like protein and RNA, but the genome codes(More)
Cell death plays a key role for both cancer progression and treatment. In this report, we characterize chromosome fragmentation, a new type of cell death that takes place during metaphase where condensed chromosomes are progressively degraded. It occurs spontaneously without any treatment in instances such as inherited status of genomic instability, or it(More)
Genetic and epigenetic heterogeneity (the main form of non-genetic heterogeneity) are key elements in cancer progression and drug resistance, as they provide needed population diversity, complexity, and robustness. Despite drastically increased evidence of multiple levels of heterogeneity in cancer, the general approach has been to eliminate the "noise" of(More)
The establishment of the correct conceptual framework is vital to any scientific discipline including cancer research. Influenced by hematologic cancer studies, the current cancer concept focuses on the stepwise patterns of progression as defined by specific recurrent genetic aberrations. This concept has faced a tough challenge as the majority of cancer(More)
Genome chaos, a process of complex, rapid genome re-organization, results in the formation of chaotic genomes, which is followed by the potential to establish stable genomes. It was initially detected through cytogenetic analyses, and recently confirmed by whole-genome sequencing efforts which identified multiple subtypes including "chromothripsis",(More)
The theoretical view that genome aberrations rather than gene mutations cause a majority of cancers has gained increasing support from recent experimental data. Genetic aberration at the chromosome level is a key aspect of genome aberration and the systematic definition of chromosomal aberrations with their impact on genome variation and cancer genome(More)
Identification of the general molecular mechanism of cancer is the Holy Grail of cancer research. Since cancer is believed to be caused by a sequential accumulation of cancer gene mutations, the identification, characterization, and targeting of common genetic alterations and their defined pathways have dominated the field for decades. Despite the(More)
Cancer progression represents an evolutionary process where overall genome level changes reflect system instability and serve as a driving force for evolving new systems. To illustrate this principle it must be demonstrated that karyotypic heterogeneity (population diversity) directly contributes to tumorigenicity. Five well characterized in vitro tumor(More)
The challenge of identifying common expression signatures in cancer is well known, however the reason behind this is largely unclear. Traditionally variation in expression signatures has been attributed to technological problems, however recent evidence suggests that chromosome instability (CIN) and resultant karyotypic heterogeneity may be a large(More)