Global characterization of T cells in non-small-cell lung cancer by single-cell sequencing

Journal: Nature Medicine

Published: 2018-06-25

DOI: 10.1038/s41591-018-0045-3

Affiliations: 7

Authors: 19

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Research Highlight

Probing the properties of cancer-fighting cells

©ROGER HARRIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

©ROGER HARRIS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Getty

Probing the properties of immune cells could help predict how individual cancer patients will respond to therapy.

Immunotherapy is a promising treatment for lung cancer, but its success partly depends upon the properties of tumour-attacking immune cells, known as T-cells, in each patient. 

A team led by researchers from Peking University extracted 12,346 single T cells from the tumours and surrounding tissues of 14 untreated lung cancer patients and used single-cell RNA sequencing to study subtle differences between individual cells. They identified two groups of T cells in a ‘pre-exhausted’ state — before they can no longer attack the tumour — and found that a higher ratio of pre-exhausted to exhausted T cells was linked to a higher likelihood of recovery from lung cancer. 

Understanding the function and dynamics of T cells in lung cancer could lead to more personalized treatment plans.

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  1. Nature Medicine 24, 978–985 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0045-3
Institutions FC
Biodynamics Optical Imaging Center (BIOPIC), PKU, China 0.28
Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG), PKU, China 0.28
Department of Thoracic Surgery, PUTH PKU, China 0.16
Bayer Pharma AG, Germany 0.11
Academy for Advanced Interdisciplinary Studies (AAIS), PKU, China 0.07
Center for Life Sciences (CLS), PKU, China 0.07
Beijing Cancer Hospital / School of Oncology, PKU, China 0.05

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