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Organizing the Cellular and Molecular Heterogeneity in High-Grade Serous Ovarian Cancer by Mass Cytometry

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Technical Report,30 Sep 2016,29 Sep 2017

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The Leland Stanford Junior University Stanford United States

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Tumor heterogeneity in high grade serous ovarian cancer HGSOC represents a significant barrier for successful therapeutic intervention. To further understand the cell types contributing to this heterogeneity we performed a comprehensive phenotypic characterization of 22 primary ovarian tumor samples. Our unsupervised analysis revealed shared and circumscribed patterns of tumor cell types across multiple HGSOC primary samples. In addition to identifying cells characteristic of epithelial tumors we found several repeatedly observed, though previously unrecognized, cell types. These included three unique E-cadherin-expressing cell subsets, cell subsets co-expressing E-cadherin and vimentin and critically one subset that co-expressed high levels of all stem cell markers interrogated. Poorer prognosis tumors had an increased frequency of cells co-expressing vimentin, HE4and cMyc and also showed greater overall phenotypic heterogeneity quantified by Simpsons Diversity Index. Importantly the novel cell types identified have the potential to become a focus for developing new therapies as well as a means of monitoring the disease.

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  • Medicine and Medical Research

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