Structural variants drive tumorigenesis by disrupting normal gene function through insertions, inversions, translocations, and copy number changes, including deletions and duplications. Detecting structural variants is crucial for revealing their roles in tumor development, clinical outcomes, and personalized therapy. Presently, most studies rely on short-read data from next-generation sequencing that aligns back to a reference genome to determine if and, if so, where a structural variant occurs. However, structural variant discovery by short-read sequencing is challenging, primarily because of the difficulty in mapping regions of repetitive sequences. Optical genome mapping (OGM) is a recent technology used for imaging and assembling long DNA strands to detect structural variations. To capture the structural variant landscape more thoroughly in the human genome, we developed an integrated pipeline that combines Bionano OGM and Illumina whole-genome sequencing and applied it to samples from 29 pediatric B-ALL patients. The addition of OGM allowed us to identify 511 deletions, 506 insertions, 93 duplications/gains, and 145 translocations that were otherwise missed in the short-read data. Moreover, we identified several novel gene fusions, the expression of which was confirmed by RNA sequencing. Our results highlight the benefit of integrating OGM and short-read detection methods to obtain a comprehensive analysis of genetic variation that can aid in clinical diagnosis, provide new therapeutic targets, and improve personalized medicine in cancers driven by structural variation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number291
JournalJournal of Personalized Medicine
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)

Cite this