The Department of Biomedicine

CCBIO seminar: Rameen Beroukhim

Ancestry-associated features in cancer

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Rameen Beroukhim
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA

Many cancers are distributed differently across ancestry groups, and often exhibit different genomic and phenotypic features. However, a comprehensive analysis of the relationship between ancestry and molecular features across cancers – or even across normal tissue types – has not been performed. We evaluated the effects of ancestry on mutation rates, DNA methylation, and mRNA and miRNA expression among 10,678 patients across 33 cancer types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA). We found that ancestry-associated differences in DNA methylation and RNA expression that were large enough to have biological relevance were cancer type-specific and often shared with normal tissue. We also found specific mutations and pathway activations that were ancestry-associated in individual cancer types.

Chairperson: Camilla Krakstad, CCBIO