Refining the Molecular Framework for Pancreatic Cancer with Single-cell and Spatial Technologies.
IF: 13.801
Cited by: 8


Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is a treatment-refractory malignancy in urgent need of a molecular framework for guiding therapeutic strategies. Bulk transcriptomic efforts over the past decade have yielded two broad consensus subtypes: classical pancreatic/epithelial versus basal-like/squamous/quasi-mesenchymal. Although this binary classification enables prognostic stratification, it does not currently inform the administration of treatments uniquely sensitive to either subtype. Furthermore, bulk mRNA studies are challenged by distinguishing contributions from the neoplastic compartment versus other cell types in the microenvironment, which is accentuated in PDAC given that neoplastic cellularity can be low. The application of single-cell transcriptomics to pancreatic tumors has generally lagged behind other cancer types due in part to the difficulty of extracting high-quality RNA from enzymatically degradative tissue, but emerging studies have and will continue to shed light on intratumoral heterogeneity, malignant-stromal interactions, and subtle transcriptional programs previously obscured at the bulk level. In conjunction with insights provided by single-cell/nucleus dissociative techniques, spatially resolved technologies should also facilitate the contextualization of gene programs and inferred cell-cell interactions within the tumor architecture. Finally, given that patients often receive neoadjuvant chemotherapy and/or chemoradiotherapy even in resectable disease, deciphering the gene programs enriched in or induced by cytotoxic therapy will be crucial for developing insights into complementary treatments aimed at eradicating residual cancer cells. Taken together, single-cell and spatial technologies provide an unprecedented opportunity to refine the foundations laid by prior bulk molecular studies and significantly augment precision oncology efforts in pancreatic cancer.


Spatial Transcriptomics


Guo, Jimmy A
Hoffman, Hannah I
Weekes, Colin D
Zheng, Lei
Ting, David T
Hwang, William L

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