Safe Care CommitmentGet the latest news on COVID-19, the vaccine and care at Mass General.Learn more
We have remained at the forefront of medicine by fostering a culture of collaboration, pushing the boundaries of medical research, educating the brightest medical minds and maintaining an unwavering commitment to the diverse communities we serve.
We offer diagnostic and treatment options for common and complex medical conditions.
Search for condition information or for a specific treatment program.
We are committed to providing expert care—safely and effectively. Let us help you navigate your in-person or virtual visit to Mass General.
At Mass General, the brightest minds in medicine collaborate on behalf of our patients to bridge innovation science with state-of-the-art clinical medicine.
NewsJun | 27 | 2019
Single-cell technologies have described heterogeneity across tissues, but the spatial distribution and forces that drive single-cell phenotypes have not been well defined. Combining single-cell RNA and protein analytics in studying the role of stromal cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in modulating heterogeneity in pancreatic cancer (pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma [PDAC]) model systems, we have identified significant single-cell population shifts toward invasive epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and proliferative (PRO) phenotypes linked with mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) signaling. Using high-content digital imaging of RNA in situ hybridization in 195 PDAC tumors, we quantified these EMT and PRO subpopulations in 319,626 individual cancer cells that can be classified within the context of distinct tumor gland "units." Tumor gland typing provided an additional layer of intratumoral heterogeneity that was associated with differences in stromal abundance and clinical outcomes. This demonstrates the impact of the stroma in shaping tumor architecture by altering inherent patterns of tumor glands in human PDAC.