Single cell RNA sequencing for breast cancer: present and future

Cell Death Discov. 2021 May 14;7(1):104. doi: 10.1038/s41420-021-00485-1.


Breast cancer is one of the most common malignant tumors in women. It is a heterogeneous disease related to genetic and environmental factors. Presently, the treatment of breast cancer still faces challenges due to recurrence and metastasis. The emergence of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) technology has brought new strategies to deeply understand the biological behaviors of breast cancer. By analyzing cell phenotypes and transcriptome differences at the single-cell level, scRNA-seq reveals the heterogeneity, dynamic growth and differentiation process of cells. This review summarizes the application of scRNA-seq technology in breast cancer research, such as in studies on cell heterogeneity, cancer cell metastasis, drug resistance, and prognosis. scRNA-seq technology is of great significance to deeply analyze the mechanism of breast cancer occurrence and development, identify new therapeutic targets and develop new therapeutic approaches for breast cancer.

Publication types

  • Review