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Analytical Cellular Pathology
Volume 2016, Article ID 9369240, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2016/9369240
Review Article

Single-Cell Sequencing Technology in Oncology: Applications for Clinical Therapies and Research

1Department of Hematology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, China
2Department of Pathology, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, China
3Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
4Department of Neurosurgery, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, China
5Central Laboratory, Renmin Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, Hubei 430060, China

Received 18 February 2016; Accepted 12 May 2016

Academic Editor: Catherine Alix-Panabières

Copyright © 2016 Baixin Ye et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Cellular heterogeneity is a fundamental characteristic of many cancers. A lack of cellular homogeneity contributes to difficulty in designing targeted oncological therapies. Therefore, the development of novel methods to determine and characterize oncologic cellular heterogeneity is a critical next step in the development of novel cancer therapies. Single-cell sequencing (SCS) technology has been recently employed for analyzing the genetic polymorphisms of individual cells at the genome-wide level. SCS requires (1) precise isolation of the single cell of interest; (2) isolation and amplification of genetic material; and (3) descriptive analysis of genomic, transcriptomic, and epigenomic data. In addition to targeted analysis of single cells isolated from tumor biopsies, SCS technology may be applied to circulating tumor cells, which may aid in predicting tumor progression and metastasis. In this paper, we provide an overview of SCS technology and review the current literature on the potential application of SCS to clinical oncology and research.