Chromosomal rearrangements in cancer: Detection and potential causal mechanisms

Paul Hasty, Cristina Montagna

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


Many cancers exhibit chromosomal rearrangements. These rearrangements can be simple, involving a single balanced fusion that preserves the proper complement of genetic information, or complex with one or more fusions that disrupt this balance. Recent technological advances have improved our ability to detect and understand these rearrangements, leading to speculation about potential causal mechanisms such as defective DNA double strand break repair and faulty DNA replication. A better understanding of these potential cancer-causing mechanisms will lead to novel therapeutic regimens to fight cancer. This review describes technological advances in methods used to detect simple and complex chromosomal rearrangements, cancers that exhibit these rearrangements, potential mechanisms for rearrangement of chromosomes, and intervention strategies designed specifically against fusion gene products and causal DNA repair/synthesis pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere29904
JournalMolecular and Cellular Oncology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • DNA repair
  • chromosomal rearrangement
  • chromothripsis
  • oncogenesis
  • replication fork

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Cancer Research


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