I am studying copy-number variation. I am reading
C. H. Mermel, S. E. Schumacher, B. Hill, M. L. Meyerson, R. Beroukhim, and G. Getz, “GISTIC2.0 facilitates sensitive and confident localization of the targets of focal somatic copy-number alteration in human cancers,” Genome Biol., vol. 12, no. 4, p. R41, 2011.
Here, it is written that
Segmented copy number profiles represent the summed outcome of all the SCNAs [somatic copy number alterations] that occurred during cancer development. Accurate modeling of the background rate of copy-number alteration requires analysis of the individual SCNAs. However, because SCNAs may overlap, it is impossible to directly infer the underlying events from the final segmented copy-number profile alone.
It is not clear to me how a segmented copy number profile represents the summed outcome of all the SCNAs. Is it because different alterations can be present in the same sample, or can alter the copy-number in different moments, or both?
And, do they overlap spatially, temporally, or both?