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Deciphering the evolutionary dynamics of extrachromosomal DNA in human cancer

Oncogenes commonly amplify on circular extrachromosomal DNA (ecDNA) molecules in cancer. We show that ecDNA shapes each of the foundational principles of Darwinian evolution — random inheritance by descent, enhanced variation through random segregation, and selection — and thereby promotes rapid genome change, treatment resistance and poor outcomes for patients with cancer.

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Fig. 1: Oncogene segregation patterns and their impact on intratumoral genetic heterogeneity in response to selection pressures.


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This is a summary of: Lange, J. T. et al. The evolutionary dynamics of extrachromosomal DNA in human cancers. Nat. Genet. (2022).

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Deciphering the evolutionary dynamics of extrachromosomal DNA in human cancer. Nat Genet 54, 1455–1456 (2022).

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