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Metastatic cancer is one of the major causes of death and is associated with poor treatment efficiency. A better understanding of the characteristics of late stage cancer is required to help tailor personalised treatment, reduce overtreatment and improve outcomes. Here we describe the largest pan-cancer study of metastatic solid tumor genomes, including 2,520 whole genome-sequenced tumor-normal pairs, analyzed at a median depth of 106x and 38x respectively, and surveying over 70 million somatic variants. Metastatic lesions were found to be very diverse, with mutation characteristics reflecting those of the primary tumor types, although with high rates of whole genome duplication events (56%). Metastatic lesions are relatively homogeneous with the vast majority (96%) of driver mutations being clonal and up to 80% of tumor suppressor genes bi-allelically inactivated through different mutational mechanisms. For 62% of all patients, genetic variants that may be associated with outcome of approved or experimental therapies were detected. These actionable events were distributed across various mutation types underlining the importance of comprehensive genomic tumor profiling for cancer precision medicine.

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