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Robert Tibshirani



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    OA08 - Advanced Models and "Omics" for Therapeutic Development (ID 133)

    • Event: WCLC 2019
    • Type: Oral Session
    • Track: Biology
    • Presentations: 1
    • Now Available
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      OA08.03 - A Single-Cell Resolution Map of EMT and Drug Resistance States for Evaluating NSCLC Clinical Specimens (Now Available) (ID 2771)

      11:00 - 12:30  |  Author(s): Robert Tibshirani

      • Abstract
      • Presentation
      • Slides

      Background

      The role of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) in NSCLC is well reported and has been shown to prime cells for metastasis. EMT can be adopted or reversed (i.e. mesenchymal-epithelial transition, MET) by cells, revealing plasticity that can also lead to drug resistance. Although it is appreciated that EMT is not a binary process of two extremes but instead a spectrum of intermediate states of EMT phenotypes, these are poorly defined at the single-cell proteomic level in NSCLC clinical specimens. Our overall goal was to dynamically capture and characterize EMT-related drug resistance states in lung cancer cells to construct a single-cell resolution state map of clinical applicability.

      Method

      We used mass cytometry (CyTOF) time-course experimentation and novel computational tools to analyze TGFβ and drug treated NSCLC cell lines, as well as NSCLC clinical samples to identify clinically relevant drug resistant EMT and MET states and construct a single-cell resolution proteomic map of phenotypic states.

      Result

      Through TGFβ treatment and withdrawal we resolved previously unrealized EMT and MET states in NSCLC cell lines by analyzing the expression of up to 30 surface and intracellular markers. Using a novel computational tool (TRACER) we also provide evidence that EMT and MET trajectories differ and exert differential drug sensitivity profiles. We used the identified EMT and MET states to construct a NSCLC reference EMT-MET state map, on which we projected NSCLC clinical samples to characterize their phenotypic profile in terms of our in vitro EMT-MET analysis. Finally, we extended our mass cytometry time-course analysis to NSCLC cells that underwent various drug treatments (e.g. Erlotinib, Docetaxel) and subsequent withdrawal to augment our EMT-MET state map with drug resistance phenotypic traits. We found that NSCLC resistant cells displayed through time overlapping morphological and cell signaling features with EMT and MET and were able to rebound from short-term drug-induced effects. These data are currently being used to evaluate EMT-related drug resistant cell states detected in pleural effusions during and after the course of treatment in different NSCLC patient therapy time-points.

      Conclusion

      In summary, we provide a framework that can be extended to phenotypically characterize clinical samples with single-cell resolution in the context of in vitro studies showing differential EMT-MET traits related to drug sensitivity. This sets the foundation for developing tools towards evaluating - at a personalized level – disease status and response to treatment in NSCLC patients.

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