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BROADMINDED BLOG

Blog / 04.15.16

Cancer close-up: Single-cell approach provides detailed look inside tumors

By Veronica Meade-Kelly
Members of the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute and the Joint Center for Cancer Precision Medicine (CCPM) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Broad have embarked on an ambitious effort to use single-cell genome analysis to explore the diverse cellular environments of cancer tumors in finer detail than ever before.

Members of the Klarman Cell Observatory at the Broad Institute and the Joint Center for Cancer Precision Medicine (CCPM) at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and the Broad have embarked on an ambitious effort to use single-cell genome analysis to explore the diverse cellular environments of cancer tumors in finer detail than ever before. The approach is providing insights not only into the heterogeneity of cancer cells within the tumors, but also immune cells and other cell types that may be influencing cancer behavior and development, as well as variations in patients’ response to treatment.

In this video, researchers involved in a pilot study that looked at melanoma — the most deadly form of skin cancer — describe their methods, their findings, and their hopes for how their approach might inform patient care in the years to come.

The team's melanoma study was published earlier this month in Science; click here to read an interview with the study's first authors.