Global characterization of T cells in non-small-cell lung cancer by single-cell sequencing
©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.
- Nature Medicine 24, 978–985 (2018). doi: 10.1038/s41591-018-0045-3