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This article is the author's final published version in Chromosome Research, Volume 31, Issue 2, 2023, Article number 15.

The published version is available at Copyright © The Author(s) 2023.


Chromosomal instability (CIN) is a pervasive feature of human cancers involved in tumor initiation and progression and which is found elevated in metastatic stages. CIN can provide survival and adaptation advantages to human cancers. However, too much of a good thing may come at a high cost for tumor cells as excessive degree of CIN-induced chromosomal aberrations can be detrimental for cancer cell survival and proliferation. Thus, aggressive tumors adapt to cope with ongoing CIN and most likely develop unique susceptibilities that can be their Achilles' heel. Determining the differences between the tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressing effects of CIN at the molecular level has become one of the most exciting and challenging aspects in cancer biology. In this review, we summarized the state of knowledge regarding the mechanisms reported to contribute to the adaptation and perpetuation of aggressive tumor cells carrying CIN. The use of genomics, molecular biology, and imaging techniques is significantly enhancing the understanding of the intricate mechanisms involved in the generation of and adaptation to CIN in experimental models and patients, which were not possible to observe decades ago. The current and future research opportunities provided by these advanced techniques will facilitate the repositioning of CIN exploitation as a feasible therapeutic opportunity and valuable biomarker for several types of human cancers.

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.