TCGA releases comprehensive genomic characterization of head and neck squamous cell carcinomas

Head and neck squamous cell carcinomas (HNSCCs) affect over 600,000 people annually around the world, many attributable to smoking or human papillomavirus infection. In order to understand the somatic gene mutations and copy number alterations present in these cancers, Broad researchers Andrew Cherniack, Peter Hammerman, Juok Cho, and colleagues as part of The Cancer Genome Atlas Network, profiled 279 HNSCCs. The studies, published in Nature, identified a number of shared and unique sequence alterations that could be further investigated with the goal of preventing and treating these cancers.