An emerging place for lung cancer genomics in 2013

Marissa G. Daniels, Rayleen V. Bowman, Ian A. Yang, Ramaswamy Govindan, Kwun M. Fong

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

31 Scopus citations


Lung cancer is a disease with a dismal prognosis and is the biggest cause of cancer deaths in many countries. Nonetheless, rapid technological developments in genome science promise more effective prevention and treatment strategies. Since the Human Genome Project, scientific advances have revolutionized the diagnosis and treatment of human cancers, including thoracic cancers. The latest, massively parallel, next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies offer much greater sequencing capacity than traditional, capillary-based Sanger sequencing. These modern but costly technologies have been applied to whole genome-, and whole exome sequencing (WGS and WES) for the discovery of mutations and polymorphisms, transcriptome sequencing for quantification of gene expression, small ribonucleic acid (RNA) sequencing for microRNA profiling, large scale analysis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) methylation and chromatin immunoprecipitation mapping of DNA-protein interaction. With the rise of personalized cancer care, based on the premise of precision medicine, sequencing technologies are constantly changing. To date, the genomic landscape of lung cancer has been captured in several WGS projects. Such work has not only contributed to our understanding of cancer biology, but has also provided impetus for technical advances that may improve our ability to accurately capture the cancer genome. Issues such as short read lengths contribute to sequenced libraries that contain challenging gaps in the aligned genome. Emerging platforms promise longer reads as well as the ability to capture a range of epigenomic signals. In addition, ongoing optimization of bioinformatics strategies for data analysis and interpretation are critical, especially for the differentiation between driver and passenger mutations. Moreover, broader deployment of these and future generations of platforms, coupled with an increasing bioinformatics workforce with access to highly sophisticated technologies, could see many of these discoveries translated to the clinic at a rapid pace. We look forward to these advances making a difference for the many patients we treat in the Asia-Pacific region and around the world.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S491-S497
JournalJournal of Thoracic Disease
Issue numberSUPPL.5
StatePublished - 2013


  • Genomics
  • High-throughput nucleotide sequencing
  • Lung neoplasms
  • Non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC)
  • small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC)


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