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Solid tumor samples typically contain multiple distinct clonal populations of cancer cells, and also stromal and immune cell contamination. A majority of the cancer genomics and transcriptomics studies do not explicitly consider genetic heterogeneity and impurity, and draw inferences based on mixed populations of cells. Deconvolution of genomic data from heterogeneous samples provides a powerful tool to address this limitation.
(Yadav and De, 2015) An assessment of computational methods for estimating purity and clonality using genomic data derived from heterogeneous tumor tissue samples. Brief Bioinform.