The Francis Crick Institute
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Spatial patterns of tumour growth impact clonal diversification in a computational model and the TRACERx Renal study.

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journal contribution
posted on 2022-01-13, 09:22 authored by Xiao Fu, Yue Zhao, Jose I Lopez, Andrew Rowan, Lewis Au, Annika Fendler, Steve Hazell, Hang Xu, Stuart Horswell, Scott TC Shepherd, Charlotte E Spencer, Lavinia Spain, Fiona Byrne, Gordon Stamp, Tim O'Brien, David Nicol, Marcellus Augustine, Ashish Chandra, Sarah Rudman, Antonia Toncheva, Andrew JS Furness, Lisa Pickering, Santosh Kumar, Dow-Mu Koh, Christina Messiou, Derfel ap Dafydd, Matthew R Orton, Simon J Doran, James Larkin, Charles Swanton, Erik Sahai, Kevin Litchfield, Samra Turajlic, TRACERx Renal Consortium, Paul A Bates
Genetic intra-tumour heterogeneity fuels clonal evolution, but our understanding of clinically relevant clonal dynamics remain limited. We investigated spatial and temporal features of clonal diversification in clear cell renal cell carcinoma through a combination of modelling and real tumour analysis. We observe that the mode of tumour growth, surface or volume, impacts the extent of subclonal diversification, enabling interpretation of clonal diversity in patient tumours. Specific patterns of proliferation and necrosis explain clonal expansion and emergence of parallel evolution and microdiversity in tumours. In silico time-course studies reveal the appearance of budding structures before detectable subclonal diversification. Intriguingly, we observe radiological evidence of budding structures in early-stage clear cell renal cell carcinoma, indicating that future clonal evolution may be predictable from imaging. Our findings offer a window into the temporal and spatial features of clinically relevant clonal evolution.


Crick (Grant ID: 10316, Grant title: Bates FC001003) Crick (Grant ID: 10988, Grant title: Turajlic FC001988) Crick (Grant ID: 10169, Grant title: Swanton FC001169) Crick (Grant ID: 10002, Grant title: STP Bioinformatics & Biostatistics) Crick (Grant ID: 10001, Grant title: STP Advanced Sequencing) Crick (Grant ID: 10144, Grant title: Sahai FC001144) Cancer Research UK (Grant ID: 29911, Grant title: CRUK C50947/A29911) Novo Nordisk UK Research Foundation (Grant ID: NNF15OC0016584, Grant title: NovoNordisk Foundation 16584) European Research Council (Grant ID: 835297 - PROTEUS, Grant title: ERC 835297 - PROTEUS) Crick (Grant ID: 10009, Grant title: STP Experimental Histopathology)