Jewish General Hospital/LDI
Tracking of clonal evolution in acute myeloid leukemia using single-cell RNA sequencing
In individuals with cancer, not all cancerous cells are the same: some carry different genetic changes or have different potential to proliferate and spread. Single-cell RNA sequencing means that we can now analyze the genetic signature of thousands of single cells isolated from patient samples. Whereas previous studies analyzed “in bulk” thousands to millions of leukemic cells, and drew conclusions based on averages of pooled cells, we can now focus on individual cells in human leukemia and understand how they differ from one another. In particular, we want to track the fate, within leukemia under treatment, of single leukemic cells; we want to identify, in patients not responding well to treatment, single resistant cells, to track their emergence and understand what characteristics they possess. By better understanding the genetic signature of leukemic cells that are resistant to treatment, we could develop novel approaches to eradicate them and improve the overall rate of leukemia remission.