Spatial single-cell sequencing in studying solid cancer development

Solid cancers remain one of the burdens of the global healthcare system. Some of the key challenges in treating solid cancers include tumor heterogeneity, resistance to therapy, metastasis, side effects, limited understanding of the tumor microenvironment, and cost. Despite advances in targeted therapies, immunotherapies, and developing novel chemotherapeutic agents, the associated morbidity and mortality are considerable. Therefore, a better understanding of the biology of the tumor and its microenvironment is required for developing novel diagnostic and treatment options.

The tumor microenvironment is composed of cancer cells, transforming cells, immune cells, stromal cells, and endothelial cells. It is well-established that tumor heterogeneity is a significant element in the clinicopathological manifestation of tumors in affected patients. Intertumor heterogeneity, intratumor heterogeneity, temporal heterogeneity, epigenetic heterogeneity, and spatial heterogeneity are the factors that contribute to tumor heterogeneity. In contrast to tumor bulk sequencing, recent advances in single-cell sequencing can provide valuable information including the identification of subpopulations of cancer cells, understanding of tumor heterogeneity, characterization of the tumor microenvironment, identification of new therapeutic targets, personalized medicine, and monitoring treatment response.
Identifying the remnant culprit malignant clones and their gene expression profiles or identifying immune suppressive microenvironment following chemoradiotherapy, radiotherapy, immune and targeted therapies can prevent subsequent tumor recurrence and metastasis; the obtained data can be translated into the development of novel anti-neoplastic treatments to improve outcomes for individual patients. The current Research Topic welcomes original works and reviews that are related to the


– Tumor microenvironment: studies on the immune cells within the tumor microenvironment and identify specific immune cell populations that are associated with better or worse outcomes for cancer patients.

– Cancer genomics: the genetic studies on normal, transforming, and malignant cells in the tumor and the border between the tumor and normal tissues.

– Cancer transcriptomics: studies on the expression patterns of genes in cancer cells.

– Tumor heterogeneity: intratumor, temporal, and spatial heterogeneity of malignant cells.

– Monitoring treatment response: studies on monitoring the response to treatment.

– Personalized medicine: studies that identify specific genetic mutations and expression patterns that are unique to an individual patient’s tumor.

Manuscripts consisting solely of bioinformatics or computational analysis of public genomic or transcriptomic databases which are not accompanied by robust and relevant validation are considered out of scope of this section.


Posted on

May 30, 2021