FocusCancer

Single-cell analyses to tailor treatments

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Science Translational Medicine  20 Sep 2017:
Vol. 9, Issue 408, eaan4730
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aan4730

Figures

  • Fig. 1. scRNA-seq applications in cancer medicine.

    (A) Bulk analysis of a tumor identifies the predominant malignant clone and suggests a drug to target it but not other clones. (B) scRNA-seq resolves each clone within a tumor, as well as the corresponding biomarkers and cognate drugs, enabling successful therapy. (C) Longitudinal profiling of patient samples with scRNA-seq (or biomarkers discovered with it) can be used to monitor disease state and select the appropriate time to treat, given the benefits and costs of intervention. (D) Analysis of samples before and after treatment may reveal subsets refractory to a given therapy, as well as their biomarkers and mechanisms of resistance. (E) Because of its sensitivity, scRNA-seq might also be used in a clinical setting for detection of rare disease-associated cells (such as minimal residual disease), which would have been missed by bulk analyses.

    CREDIT: A. K. SHALEK/MIT AND J. S. MUSACH/LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY, ADAPTED BY A. KITTERMAN/SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE

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