Correspondence | Published:

Currently available bulk sequencing data do not necessarily support a model of neutral tumor evolution

Nature Geneticsvolume 50pages16201623 (2018) | Download Citation

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1.

    Williams, M. J., Werner, B., Barnes, C. P., Graham, T. A. & Sottoriva, A. Nat. Genet. 48, 238–244 (2016).

  2. 2.

    Sottoriva, A. et al. Nat. Genet. 47, 209–216 (2015).

  3. 3.

    Gerlinger, M. et al. N. Engl. J. Med. 366, 883–892 (2012).

  4. 4.

    Ding, L. et al. Nature 481, 506–510 (2012).

  5. 5.

    Welch, J. S. et al. Cell 150, 264–278 (2012).

  6. 6.

    Chakrabarti, S. & Michor, F. Cancer Res. 77, 3908–3921 (2017).

  7. 7.

    McDonald, T. O. & Michor, F. Bioinformatics 33, 2221–2223 (2017).

  8. 8.

    McDonald, T. O. & Kimmel, M. J. Appl. Probab. 52, 864–876 (2015).

  9. 9.

    Jagers, P. & Nerman, O. Adv. Appl. Probab. 16, 221–259 (1984).

Download references


The authors would like to acknowledge discussions with members of the Michor laboratory and with N. Navin, D. Pellman and K. Polyak. This work was supported by the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute Physical Sciences Oncology Center (NCI U54CA193461).

Author information

Author notes

  1. These authors contributed equally: Thomas O. McDonald, Shaon Chakrabarti.


  1. Department of Biostatistics and Computational Biology, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA

    • Thomas O. McDonald
    • , Shaon Chakrabarti
    •  & Franziska Michor
  2. Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, MA, USA

    • Thomas O. McDonald
    • , Shaon Chakrabarti
    •  & Franziska Michor
  3. Center for Cancer Evolution, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA, USA

    • Thomas O. McDonald
    •  & Franziska Michor
  4. Department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA, USA

    • Thomas O. McDonald
    • , Shaon Chakrabarti
    •  & Franziska Michor


  1. Search for Thomas O. McDonald in:

  2. Search for Shaon Chakrabarti in:

  3. Search for Franziska Michor in:


T.O.M. and S.C. developed the models, performed simulations and analyzed results. F.M. conceived the idea. All authors wrote the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Franziska Michor.

Supplementary information

About this article

Publication history


Issue Date


Further reading

Newsletter Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing