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Pancreatic cancer expression profiles largely reflect a classical or basal-like phenotype. The extent to which these profiles vary within a patient is unknown. We integrated evolutionary analysis and expression profiling in multiregion sampled metastatic pancreatic cancers, finding that squamous features are the histologic correlate of an RNA-seq defined basal-like subtype. In patients with coexisting basal/squamous and classical/glandular morphology, phylogenetic studies revealed that squamous morphology represented a subclonal population. Cancers with squamous features were significantly more likely to have truncal mutations in chromatin modifiers, intercellular heterogeneity for MYC amplification, and entosis. These data provide a unifying paradigm for integrating basal-type expression profiles, squamous histology, and somatic mutations in chromatin modifier genes in the context of clonal evolution of pancreatic cancer.

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