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SigProfiler Assignment

Use the SigProfilerAssignment web tool

Assign COSMIC mutational signatures to your samples with SigProfilerAssignment

How do I use SigProfilerAssignment?

Our guided tour of SigProfilerAssignment demonstrates how to assign reference mutational signatures to individual samples.

How are mutational signatures assigned to individual samples?

Assigning previously known mutational signatures to individual samples, also known as refitting of known signatures, enables identifying the set of operative mutational signatures in a particular sample and quantifying the number of mutations attributed to each signature found in that sample.

This set of signatures corresponds to the different mutational processes that have been active in a particular tumour or somatic tissue during an individual's lifetime, including both endogenous and exogenous processes. Leveraging the vast amount of DNA sequencing data accumulated in recent years, these mutational processes have been characterised, resulting in reference signatures which are recorded in COSMIC Mutational Signatures.

Making use of these reference mutational signatures, SigProfilerAssignment provides an accessible web platform to assign these signatures to cancer samples and elucidate the biological processes responsible for the accumulated somatic mutations.

About the SigProfilerAssignment tool

SigProfilerAssignment is a novel tool developed by the Alexandrov lab at UC San Diego. The tool is used to assign previously known mutational signatures to individual sequenced samples, utilising a custom implementation of the forward stagewise algorithm and nonnegative least squares.

SigProfilerAssignment outperformed other common approaches in a benchmark using 2,700 synthetic cancer samples. More information can be found in our preprint.

Data policy and FAQs

How does COSMIC use my sample data?

We don't use or store your sample data and we don’t record the content of your files. All sample data files that you submit are deleted immediately while using this web tool.

Can I revisit the results generated from my sample data?

No. Any graphs or downloadable files will only exist for the duration of your page session. Refreshing the page will reset the tool and you will need to resubmit your samples.

Can I use this tool for free?

Yes, free! If you are a registered non-commercial COSMIC user then you can use this tool immediately. Commercial COSMIC users should install SigProfilerAssignment on their own computer by following these instructions.

What's the catch?

There isn't one. As part of COSMIC’s goal to support cancer research and its community, tools like this remain free, supported and available.

How long does the tool take to process a sample?

It’s fast but varies depending on the number of samples and mutations - samples with low numbers of mutations take about 15 seconds.

Can I use the results generated from SigProfilerAssignment for clinical applications?

No. SigProfilerAssignment is not to be used for clinical purposes. It is available as a tool to support academic research only. Individual users are responsible for understanding and interpreting the results from this tool, not COSMIC.

How do I cite SigProfilerAssignment?

Díaz-Gay et al. 2023 bioRxiv and Tate et al. 2019 Nucleic Acids Research.