Revealing the Complexity of Breast Cancer by Next Generation Sequencing.

Over the last few years the increasing usage of “-omic” platforms, supported by next-generation sequencing, in the analysis of breast cancer samples has tremendously advanced our understanding of the disease. New driver and passenger mutations, rare chromosomal rearrangements and other genomic aberrations identified by whole genome and exome sequencing are providing missing pieces of the genomic architecture of breast cancer. High resolution maps of breast cancer methylomes and sequencing of the miRNA microworld are beginning to paint the epigenomic landscape of the disease. Transcriptomic profiling is giving us a glimpse into the gene regulatory networks that govern the fate of the breast cancer cell. At the same time, integrative analysis of sequencing data confirms an extensive intertumor and intratumor heterogeneity and plasticity in breast cancer arguing for a new approach to the problem. In this review, we report on the latest findings on the molecular characterization of breast cancer using NGS technologies, and we discuss their potential implications for the improvement of existing therapies.

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