Melanoma Single-Cell Transcriptional Analysis Predicts Drug Response

Source: Genetic Engineer & Biotechnology NEWS, October 2019

A new study from investigators at the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Donald A. Adam Melanoma and Skin Cancer Center of Excellence have just released findings from a new study revealing that differences at the single-cell level can predict responses to initial BRAF inhibitor therapy and that leveraging these differences may improve patient outcomes. Patients with advanced melanoma have been able to live longer because of several newly approved targeted treatment options, including BRAF and MEK inhibitors. However, patients will often have different responses to the same treatment due to genetic variability. Melanoma varies from patient to patient, but genetic variability is also prevalent among different cells from a single tumor.

Findings from the new study were published recently in EBioMedicine through an article titled “Leveraging transcriptional dynamics to improve BRAF inhibitor responses in melanoma.”

The research team assessed the variability of melanoma cells and their responses to BRAF inhibitor treatment by analyzing the RNA expression patterns in single cells from melanoma cell lines and patient samples. They discovered that melanoma cells can reside within four different states with distinct patterns of gene expression. Their analysis predicted the following:

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