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Biotechnol Adv. 2017 Jul;35(4):443-449. doi: 10.1016/j.biotechadv.2017.04.001. Epub 2017 Apr 5.

Application of single-cell technology in cancer research.

Author information

1
State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, China; Department of Radiation Oncology, Cancer Center, First People's Hospital of Foshan Affiliated to Sun Yat-sen University, Foshan 528000, China.
2
State Key Laboratory of Oncology in South China, Collaborative Innovation Center for Cancer Medicine, Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center, Guangzhou 510060, China. Electronic address: Fulw@mail.sysu.edu.cn.

Abstract

In this review, we have outlined the application of single-cell technology in cancer research. Single-cell technology has made encouraging progress in recent years and now provides the means to detect rare cancer cells such as circulating tumor cells and cancer stem cells. We reveal how this technology has advanced the analysis of intratumor heterogeneity and tumor epigenetics, and guided individualized treatment strategies. The future prospects now are to bring single-cell technology into the clinical arena. We believe that the clinical application of single-cell technology will be beneficial in cancer diagnostics and treatment, and ultimately improve survival in cancer patients.

KEYWORDS:

Individualized treatment; Intratumor heterogeneity; Rare tumor cells; Single-cell technology; Tumor epigenetics

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