Single cell cancer epigenetics

Trends Cancer. 2022 Oct;8(10):820-838. doi: 10.1016/j.trecan.2022.06.005. Epub 2022 Jul 9.


Bulk sequencing methodologies have allowed us to make great progress in cancer research. Unfortunately, these techniques lack the resolution to fully unravel the epigenetic mechanisms that govern tumor heterogeneity. Consequently, many novel single cell-sequencing methodologies have been developed over the past decade, allowing us to explore the epigenetic components that regulate different aspects of cancer heterogeneity, namely: clonal heterogeneity, tumor microenvironment (TME), spatial organization, intratumoral differentiation programs, metastasis, and resistance mechanisms. In this review, we explore the different sequencing techniques that enable researchers to study different aspects of epigenetics (DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility, histone modifications, DNA-protein interactions, and chromatin 3D architecture) at the single cell level, their potential applications in cancer, and their current technical limitations.

Keywords: cancer; epigenetics; heterogeneity; omics; sequencing; single cell.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromatin / genetics
  • DNA
  • Epigenesis, Genetic*
  • Epigenomics
  • Humans
  • Neoplasms* / genetics
  • Tumor Microenvironment / genetics


  • Chromatin
  • DNA