Editors' ChoiceCancer

Cancer at Single-Cell Resolution

Sci. Signal.  24 Jun 2014:
Vol. 7, Issue 331, pp. ec174
DOI: 10.1126/scisignal.2005613

Single-cell sequencing can illuminate the genetic properties of brain cancers and reveal heterogeneity within a tumor. Patel et al. examined the genome sequence of single cells isolated from brain glioblastomas. The findings revealed shared chromosomal changes but also extensive transcription variation, including genes related to signaling, which represent potential therapeutic targets. The authors suggest that the variation in tumor cells reflects neural development and that such variation among cancer cells may prove to have clinical significance.

A. P. Patel, I. Tirosh, J. J. Trombetta, A. K. Shalek, S. M. Gillespie, H. Wakimoto, D. P. Cahill, B. V. Nahed, W. T. Curry, R. L. Martuza, D. N. Louis, O. Rozenblatt-Rosen, M. L. Suvà, A. Regev, B. E. Bernstein, Single-cell RNA-seq highlights intratumoral heterogeneity in primary glioblastoma. Science 344, 1396–1401 (2014). [Abstract] [Full Text]