Cancer-associated gene fusions resulting in chimeric proteins or aberrant expression of one or both partner genes are pathogenetically and clinically important in several hematologic malignancies and solid tumors. Since the advent of different types of massively parallel sequencing (MPS), the number of identified gene fusions has increased dramatically, prompting the question whether they all have a biologic impact. By ascertaining the chromosomal locations of 8934 genes involved in 10 861 gene fusions reported in the literature, we here show that there is a highly significant association between gene content of chromosomes and chromosome bands and number of genes involved in fusions. This strongly suggests that a clear majority of gene fusions detected by MPS are stochastic events associated with the number of genes available to participate in fusions and that most reported gene fusions are passengers without any pathogenetic importance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)607-611
Number of pages5
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sep

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Medical Genetics


  • cancer
  • chromosome bands
  • chromosomes
  • gene content
  • gene fusions


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