Analysis of Cells in Fallopian Tube Can Help Classify Ovarian Cancer Subtypes, Study Says

Analysis of Cells in Fallopian Tube Can Help Classify Ovarian Cancer Subtypes, Study Says
Analysis of cells in the fallopian tube, from which most ovarian cancers develop, can help classify ovarian cancer subtypes, with potential implications for cancer prognoses and treatment strategies, a new study shows. The study, "The Repertoire of Serous Ovarian Cancer Non-genetic Heterogeneity Revealed by Single-Cell Sequencing of Normal Fallopian Tube Epithelial Cells," was published in Cancer Cell. Serous ovarian cancer (SOC) is the most common type of ovarian cancer, accounting for around 70% of cases. Despite its name, most SOCs don't originate in the ovary but typically start in the fallopian tube, which connects the ovary and uterus. Understanding the normal biology of these cells could help provide insights into what happens when they become cancerous. In the new study, researchers analyzed cells from the inner layer (epithelium) of the fallopian tube using a relatively new technology called single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). This technology can assess the transcriptome, or gene expression profile, of individual cells — essentially determining the extent to which thousands of genes in each cell are "off" or "on." The researchers analyzed the transcriptomes of 2,132 non-cancerous fallopian tube cells. Then, computer programs were used to group the cells into clusters based on patterns in gene expression. In so doing, the researchers identified several hitherto unrecognized subtypes of cells. Notably, the analysis was done using fresh cells — that is, cells were analyzed shortly after being recovered from a patient. In research, cells will often be grown in a lab (cultured) to get more cells for analysis and allow experiments to be repeated. Interestingly, when the fallopian tube cells were cultured, whether overnight or for longer per
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