Recent advances in comprehensive genomic profiling by next-generation sequencing have uncovered the genomic alterations at the molecular level for many types of tumors; as such, numerous small specific molecules that target these alterations have been developed and widely used in the management of these cancers.


To provide a concise molecular genomic update in solid, bone and soft tissue tumors, hematopoietic as well as lymphoid malignancies; discuss its clinical applications; and familiarize practicing pathologists with the emerging cancer biomarkers and their diagnostic utilities.

Data Sources.—

This review is based on the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines and peer-reviewed English literature.


Tumor-specific biomarkers and molecular/genomic alterations, including pan-cancer markers, have been significantly expanded in the past decade thanks to large-scale high-throughput technologies and will continue to emerge in the future. These biomarkers can be of great value in diagnosis, prognosis, and/or targeted therapy/treatment. Familiarization with these emerging and ever-changing tumor biomarkers will undoubtedly aid pathologists in making accurate and state-of-the-art diagnoses and enable them to be more actively involved in the care of cancer patients.

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Author notes

The authors have no relevant financial interest in the products or companies described in this article.

Presented in part at the Sixth Annual Chinese American Pathologists Association Diagnostic Course; October 10–11, 2020; virtual.