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Uncertainties In Tumor Allele Frequencies Limit Power To Infer Evolutionary Pressures

By Javad Noorbakhsh, Jeffrey H. Chuang

Posted 04 May 2017
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/134049 (published DOI: 10.1038/ng.3876)

Williams, et. al. (Nature Genetics 48:238, 2016) have argued for neutral evolution in tumors by analyzing The Cancer Genome Atlas data. They supported this conclusion by showing high R^2 values for fits to a neutral evolution model predicting M∝1/f, where M is the number of somatic mutations with allele frequency ≥f. However, we believe a conclusion of neutrality must be treated cautiously, as we show that high R^2 values are consistent with many evolutionary models.

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