Special issue of Science. If genomic methods (e.g., genotyping of tumor cells to identify most promising treatment) fulfill their promise in cancer therapy, the number of human genomes available for other research will skyrocket.
INTRODUCTION—With the completion of the human genome in 2001, many researchers immediately set their sights on using this information to better understand the genetics and, more recently, epigenetic effects identified during the initiation, development, and progression of cancer. Moving from the pre–genome-era identification of single gene variants associated with hereditary cancers, advances in sequencing technology have enabled the use of a whole-genome approach to examine the differences between the genomes, and epigenetic regulation, of tumor and patient DNA. This issue of Science examines how these advances are shaping our current understanding of cancer at the genomic level.