Bringing precision oncology to cellular resolution with single-cell genomics

Clin Exp Metastasis. 2022 Feb;39(1):79-83. doi: 10.1007/s10585-021-10129-4. Epub 2021 Nov 22.


Single-cell sequencing technologies have undergone rapid development and adoption by the scientific community in the past 5 years, fueling discoveries about the etiology, pathogenesis, and treatment responsiveness of individual tumor cells within cancer ecosystems. Most of the advancements in our understanding of cancer with these new technologies have focused on basic tumor biology. However, the knowledge produced by these and other studies are beginning to provide biomarkers and drug targets for clinically-relevant subpopulations within a tumor, creating opportunities for the development of biologically-informed, clone-specific combination treatment strategies. Here we provide an overview of the development of the field of single-cell cancer sequencing and provide a roadmap for shepherding these technologies from research tools to diagnostic instruments that provide high-resolution, treatment-directing details of tumors to clinical oncologists.

Keywords: Precision oncology; Single cell genomics.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Ecosystem
  • Genomics
  • High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Neoplasms* / pathology
  • Neoplasms* / therapy
  • Precision Medicine