Sex differences in oncogenic mutational processes

PCAWG Tumour Subtypes and Clinical Translation, PCAWG Consortium, Constance H. Li, Stephenie D. Prokopec, Ren X. Sun, Fouad Yousif, Nathaniel Schmitz, Fatima Al-Shahrour, Gurnit Atwal, Peter J. Bailey, Andrew V. Biankin, Paul C. Boutros, Peter J. Campbell, David K. Chang, Susanna L. Cooke, Vikram Deshpande, Bishoy M. Faltas, William C. Faquin, Levi Garraway, Gad GetzSean M. Grimmond, Syed Haider, Katherine A. Hoadley, Wei Jiao, Vera B. Kaiser, Rosa Karlić, Mamoru Kato, Kirsten Kübler, Alexander J. Lazar, Constance H. Li, David N. Louis, Adam Margolin, Sancha Martin, Hardeep K. Nahal-Bose, G. Petur Nielsen, Serena Nik-Zainal, Larsson Omberg, Christine P’ng, Marc D. Perry, Paz Polak, Esther Rheinbay, Mark A. Rubin, Colin A. Semple, Dennis C. Sgroi, Tatsuhiro Shibata, Reiner Siebert, Jaclyn Smith, Lincoln D. Stein, Miranda D. Stobbe, Ren X. Sun, Kevin Thai, Tapio Visakorpi, Steve Bova

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Sex differences have been observed in multiple facets of cancer epidemiology, treatment and biology, and in most cancers outside the sex organs. Efforts to link these clinical differences to specific molecular features have focused on somatic mutations within the coding regions of the genome. Here we report a pan-cancer analysis of sex differences in whole genomes of 1983 tumours of 28 subtypes as part of the ICGC/TCGA Pan-Cancer Analysis of Whole Genomes (PCAWG) Consortium. We both confirm the results of exome studies, and also uncover previously undescribed sex differences. These include sex-biases in coding and non-coding cancer drivers, mutation prevalence and strikingly, in mutational signatures related to underlying mutational processes. These results underline the pervasiveness of molecular sex differences and strengthen the call for increased consideration of sex in molecular cancer research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4330
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed

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