On September 7-10, 2019, the 20th World Conference on Lung Cancer (WCLC) was held in Barcelona, Spain. Experts and scholars from around the world gathered together to discuss the clinical and scientific progress of lung cancer. This is the world's largest academic conference dedicated to lung cancer, providing a learning and communication platform for participants.
Lung cancer is the most common incident cancer and the leading cause of cancer death in China. China has the biggest population of lung cancer patients in the world, and Chinese researchers have been very active and contribute a lot based on Chinese patient population.
Research progress on targeted therapy and immunotherapy is one of the popular topics at WCLC. On the Oral Presentation Session of Models and Biomarkers, Dr. Nan Fang, CEO of Singleron Biotechnologies, reported the results, entitled "Molecular profiling of adenocarcinoma and squamous cell lung cancer at single cell resolution". This is a collaborating study with researchers from Shanghai Pulmonary Hospital, and the first author is Professor Wu Fengying.
Content of Oral Presentation
Preliminary scRNA sequencing analysis data of tissue biopsy samples from 28 NSCLC patients (24 at stage IV, 4 at stage III) was presented, and the single cell transcriptome difference between adenocarcinoma (ADC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) was demonstrated at the cancer cells level and immunological cells level respectively.
Cancer cells from SCC patients show higher intra-and inter-patient heterogeneity than those of ADC patients. In the TME of both ADC and SCC, immunologic cells also show high heterogeneity. The study also finds that the T cell ratio is significantly lower in the immunotherapy no-responds group(N=2). The significantly higher level of heterogeneity for SCC can be a possible reason for poor responses to standard lung cancer therapies, including immunotherapy. Accurate characterization of SCC with single cell resolution could hold the key to more effective therapeutic strategies.
Professor David Santamaria from IECB commented on the presentation. Compared with the recently published single-cell sequencing study of lung cancer, this study enrolled more patients, therapeutic regime is different and much more clinical information is provided. He believed in-depth exploration of the data at later stage should find more inspiring information.