Evaluation of Potter NE, Ermini L, Papaemmanuil E et al. Single-cell mutational profiling and clonal phylogeny in cancer. Genome Res. 23(12), 2115–2125 (2013).
A major challenge in cancer therapy lies in its complexity and heterogeneity, with increasing recognition of many tumor subtypes that have different biological characteristics and responses to therapies. To effectively address this challenge, personalized medicine has been the ‘vogue’ currently. Dissecting the detailed clonal architecture of cancer by cancer genomics, which holds the promise of personalized medicine, has significant clinical implications. Substantial advances have been made in DNA-based, high-throughput genomic technologies. However, current methods are still in its infancy, significantly limited by error rates, low cell throughput, high cost and labor intensive. The study under evaluation develops a superior strategy for a comprehensive interrogation of the complex genomics of cancer cells by using multiplex-targeted DNA amplification from flow-sorted single cells followed by high-throughput quantitative PCR using the BioMark HD microfluidic platform. The platform demonstrated a successful rate of approximately 75%, a highly efficient single-cell sorting rate of 96–98%, a high-throughput analysis of 200–300 leukemic cells, and was able to simultaneously detected chimeric fusion genes, copy number alterations and single-nucleotide variants in a single cell sample.