tumour heterogeneity
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Daniel Schreyer ◽  
John P. Neoptolemos ◽  
Simon T. Barry ◽  
Peter Bailey

Comprehensive molecular landscaping studies reveal a potentially brighter future for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) patients. Blood-borne biomarkers obtained from minimally invasive “liquid biopsies” are now being trialled for early disease detection and to track responses to therapy. Integrated genomic and transcriptomic studies using resectable tumour material have defined intrinsic patient subtypes and actionable genomic segments that promise a shift towards genome-guided patient management. Multimodal mapping of PDAC using spatially resolved single cell transcriptomics and imaging techniques has identified new potentially therapeutically actionable cellular targets and is providing new insights into PDAC tumour heterogeneity. Despite these rapid advances, defining biomarkers for patient selection remain limited. This review examines the current PDAC cancer biomarker ecosystem (identified in tumour and blood) and explores how advances in single cell sequencing and spatially resolved imaging modalities are being used to uncover new targets for therapeutic intervention and are transforming our understanding of this difficult to treat disease.

Cancers ◽  
2022 ◽  
Vol 14 (2) ◽  
pp. 393
Catharina Silvia Lisson ◽  
Christoph Gerhard Lisson ◽  
Sherin Achilles ◽  
Marc Fabian Mezger ◽  
Daniel Wolf ◽  

The study’s primary aim is to evaluate the predictive performance of CT-derived 3D radiomics for MCL risk stratification. The secondary objective is to search for radiomic features associated with sustained remission. Included were 70 patients: 31 MCL patients and 39 control subjects with normal axillary lymph nodes followed over five years. Radiomic analysis of all targets (n = 745) was performed and features selected using the Mann Whitney U test; the discriminative power of identifying “high-risk MCL” was evaluated by receiver operating characteristics (ROC). The four radiomic features, “Uniformity”, “Entropy”, “Skewness” and “Difference Entropy” showed predictive significance for relapse (p < 0.05)—in contrast to the routine size measurements, which showed no relevant difference. The best prognostication for relapse achieved the feature “Uniformity” (AUC-ROC-curve 0.87; optimal cut-off ≤0.0159 to predict relapse with 87% sensitivity, 65% specificity, 69% accuracy). Several radiomic features, including the parameter “Short Axis,” were associated with sustained remission. CT-derived 3D radiomics improves the predictive estimation of MCL patients; in combination with the ability to identify potential radiomic features that are characteristic for sustained remission, it may assist physicians in the clinical management of MCL.

2022 ◽  
Karthik Balaji Shanmugasundaram ◽  
Junrong Li ◽  
Abu Ali Ibn Sina ◽  
Alain Wuethrich ◽  
Matt Trau

Liquid biopsy-based diagnosis in precision oncology exhibits significant advantages over the traditional tumour biopsies by offering dynamic assessment of tumour heterogeneity, minimally invasive procedures for frequent sampling, and cost-effective tests....

2022 ◽  
Vol 15 (1) ◽  
Sebastian Öther-Gee Pohl ◽  
Kevin B. Myant

ABSTRACT Alternative splicing is a process by which a single gene is able to encode multiple different protein isoforms. It is regulated by the inclusion or exclusion of introns and exons that are joined in different patterns prior to protein translation, thus enabling transcriptomic and proteomic diversity. It is now widely accepted that alternative splicing is dysregulated across nearly all cancer types. This widespread dysregulation means that nearly all cellular processes are affected – these include processes synonymous with the hallmarks of cancer – evasion of apoptosis, tissue invasion and metastasis, altered cellular metabolism, genome instability and drug resistance. Emerging evidence indicates that the dysregulation of alternative splicing also promotes a permissive environment for increased tumour heterogeneity and cellular plasticity. These are fundamental regulators of a patient's response to therapy. In this Review, we introduce the mechanisms of alternative splicing and the role of aberrant splicing in cancer, with particular focus on newfound evidence of alternative splicing promoting tumour heterogeneity, cellular plasticity and altered metabolism. We discuss recent in vivo models generated to study alternative splicing and the importance of these for understanding complex tumourigenic processes. Finally, we review the effects of alternative splicing on immune evasion, cell death and genome instability, and how targeting these might enhance therapeutic efficacy.

2021 ◽  
Vol 17 (12) ◽  
pp. e1009036
Jack Kuipers ◽  
Ariane L. Moore ◽  
Katharina Jahn ◽  
Peter Schraml ◽  
Feng Wang ◽  

Tumour progression is an evolutionary process in which different clones evolve over time, leading to intra-tumour heterogeneity. Interactions between clones can affect tumour evolution and hence disease progression and treatment outcome. Intra-tumoural pairs of mutations that are overrepresented in a co-occurring or clonally exclusive fashion over a cohort of patient samples may be suggestive of a synergistic effect between the different clones carrying these mutations. We therefore developed a novel statistical testing framework, called GeneAccord, to identify such gene pairs that are altered in distinct subclones of the same tumour. We analysed our framework for calibration and power. By comparing its performance to baseline methods, we demonstrate that to control type I errors, it is essential to account for the evolutionary dependencies among clones. In applying GeneAccord to the single-cell sequencing of a cohort of 123 acute myeloid leukaemia patients, we find 1 clonally co-occurring and 8 clonally exclusive gene pairs. The clonally exclusive pairs mostly involve genes of the key signalling pathways.

2021 ◽  
Vol 22 (24) ◽  
pp. 13386
Helge Waldum ◽  
Patricia Mjønes

Malignant tumours are traditionally classified according to their organ of origin and whether they are of epithelial (carcinomas) or mesenchymal (sarcomas) origin. By histological appearance the site of origin may often be confirmed. Using same treatment for tumours from the same organ is rational only when there is no principal heterogeneity between the tumours of that organ. Organ tumour heterogeneity is typical for the lungs with small cell and non-small cell tumours, for the kidneys where clear cell renal carcinoma (CCRCC) is the dominating type among other subgroups, and in the stomach with adenocarcinomas of intestinal and diffuse types. In addition, a separate type of neuroendocrine tumours (NETs) is found in most organs. Every cell type able to divide may develop into a tumour, and the different subtypes most often reflect different cell origin. In this article the focus is on the cells of origin in tumours arising in the stomach and kidneys and the close relationship between normal neuroendocrine cells and NETs. Furthermore, that the erythropoietin producing cell may be the cell of origin of CCRCC (a cancer with many similarities to NETs), and that gastric carcinomas of diffuse type may originate from the ECL cell, whereas the endodermal stem cell most probably gives rise to cancers of intestinal type.

2021 ◽  
Hyobin Jeong ◽  
Karen Grimes ◽  
Peter-Martin Bruch ◽  
Tobias Rausch ◽  
Patrick Hasenfeld ◽  

Somatic structural variants (SVs) are widespread in cancer genomes, however, their impact on tumorigenesis and intra-tumour heterogeneity is incompletely understood, since methods to functionally characterize the broad spectrum of SVs arising in cancerous single-cells are lacking. We present a computational method, scNOVA, that couples SV discovery with nucleosome occupancy analysis by haplotype-resolved single-cell sequencing, to systematically uncover SV effects on cis-regulatory elements and gene activity. Application to leukemias and cell lines uncovered SV outcomes at several loci, including dysregulated cancer-related pathways and mono-allelic oncogene expression near SV breakpoints. At the intra-patient level, we identified different yet overlapping subclonal SVs that converge on aberrant Wnt signaling. We also deconvoluted the effects of catastrophic chromosomal rearrangements resulting in oncogenic transcription factor dysregulation. scNOVA directly links SVs to their functional consequences, opening the door for single-cell multiomics of SVs in heterogeneous cell populations.

2021 ◽  
Tiraput Poonpanichakul ◽  
Meng-Shin Shiao ◽  
Natnicha Jiravejchakul ◽  
Ponpan Matangkasombut ◽  
Ekaphop Sirachainan ◽  

Malignant ascites is an abnormal accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity, caused by metastasis of several types of cancers, including colorectal cancer. Cancer cells in ascites reflect poor prognosis and serve as a good specimen to study tumour heterogeneity, as they represent a collection of multiple metastatic sites in the peritoneum. In this study, we have employed single-cell RNA-sequencing (scRNA-seq) to explore and characterise ascites-derived cells from a colorectal cancer patient. The samples were prepared using mechanical and enzymatic dissociations, and obtained before and after a chemotherapy treatment. Unbiased clustering of 19,653 cells from four samples reveals 14 sub-clusters with unique transcriptomic patterns in four major cell types: epithelial cells, myeloid cells, fibroblasts, and lymphocytes. Interestingly, the percentages of cells recovered from different cell types appeared to be influenced by the preparation protocols, with more than 90% reduction in the number of myeloid cells recovered by enzymatic preparation. Analysis of epithelial cell subpopulations unveiled only three out of eleven subpopulations with clear expansion or contraction after the treatment, suggesting that only parts of the heterogeneous ascites-derived cells were resistant to the treatment, potentially reflecting the poor treatment outcome observed in the patient. Overall, our study showcases highly heterogeneous cancer subpopulations at single-cell resolution, which respond differently to a particular chemotherapy treatment. All in all, this work highlights the potential benefit of single-cell analyses in planning appropriate treatments and real-time monitoring of therapeutic response in cancer patients through routinely discarded ascites samples.

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