Mitochondrial genomes are separated from the nuclear genome for most of the cell cycle by the nuclear double membrane, intervening cytoplasm and the mitochondrial double membrane. Despite these physical barriers we show that somatically acquired mitochondrial-nuclear genome fusion sequences are present in cancer cells. Most occur in conjunction with intranuclear genomic rearrangements and the features of the fusion fragments indicate that non-homologous end joining and/or replication-dependent DNA double strand break repair are the dominant mechanism involved. This study includes 12 pairs of whole-genome sequences (tumour and paired-normal), which present somatic mitochondrial DNA integrations in tumour genomes. Reference: Young Seok Ju et al., Frequent somatic transfer of mitochondrial DNA into the nuclear genome of human cancer cells, Genome Research (2015).