Mitogenic and progenitor gene programmes in single pilocytic astrocytoma cells.

In this featured publication, lead authors Zachary Reitman, MD, PhD and Brenton Paolella, PhD, and others with Mimi Bandopadhayay, MBBS, PhD and Rameen Beroukhim, MD, PhD use single cell sequencing technology to examine the cellular state of individual tumor cells. They find that PA cancer cells often look like astrocytes at the RNA level, but a few cells look like progenitor cells. Intriguingly, it is this smaller population of cells that may drive tumor growth more than the abundant astrocyte-like cells. There are also many immune cells, especially microglia. These findings will inform the design of therapies specific for the different cell types. Please click the link to go to the paper to learn more.