somatic mutations

Definition of somatic variant

somatic variant

(soh-MA-tik VAYR-ee-unt)
An alteration in DNA that occurs after conception and is not present within the germline. Somatic variants can occur in any of the cells of the body except the germ cells (sperm and egg) and therefore are not passed on to children. Somatic variants can (but do not always) cause cancer or other diseases.

Source: NCI Dictionary of Cancer Terms