Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Oesophageal adenocarcinoma (OAC) provides an ideal case study to characterize large-scale rearrangements. Using whole genome short-read sequencing of 383 cases, for which 214 had matched whole transcriptomes, we observed structural variations (SV) with a predominance of deletions, tandem duplications and inter-chromosome junctions that could be identified as LINE-1 mobile element (ME) insertions. Complex clusters of rearrangements resembling breakage-fusion-bridge cycles or extrachromosomal circular DNA accounted for 22% of complex SVs affecting known oncogenes. Counting SV events affecting known driver genes substantially increased the recurrence rates of these drivers. After excluding fragile sites, we identified 51 candidate new drivers in genomic regions disrupted by SVs, including ETV5, KAT6B and CLTC. RUNX1 was the most recurrently altered gene (24%), with many deletions inactivating the RUNT domain but preserved the reading frame, suggesting an altered protein product. These findings underscore the importance of identification of SV events in OAC with implications for targeted therapies.

Original publication




Journal article


Communications biology

Publication Date





Medical Research Council Cancer Unit, Hutchison/Medical Research Council Research Centre, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.


Oesophageal Cancer Clinical and Molecular Stratification (OCCAMS) Consortium, Humans, Adenocarcinoma, Esophageal Neoplasms, Genome, Human, Histone Acetyltransferases, Whole Genome Sequencing