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Single-cell sequencing and its applications in bladder cancer

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 January 2022

Wang Wei
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169 Donghu Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan430071, People's Republic of China Center for Single-Cell Omics and Tumor Liquid Biopsy, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan, China Department of Laboratory Medicine, The First Affiliated Hospital of Yangtze University, No.55 North Jianghan Road, Shashi District, Jingzhou434000, People's Republic of China
Yuan Rong
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169 Donghu Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan430071, People's Republic of China
Liu Sanhe
Wuhan Research Center for Infectious Diseases and Cancer, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Wuhan, China
Yang Chunxiu
Department of Pathology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169 Donghu Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan430071, People's Republic of China
Erick Thokerunga
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169 Donghu Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan430071, People's Republic of China
Diansheng Cui*
Wuhan Research Center for Infectious Diseases and Cancer, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Wuhan, China Department of Urology, Hubei Cancer Hospital, Tongji Medical College, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan430079, People's Republic of China
Fubing Wang*
Department of Laboratory Medicine, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, No.169 Donghu Road, Wuchang District, Wuhan430071, People's Republic of China Wuhan Research Center for Infectious Diseases and Cancer, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, Wuhan, China
Author for correspondence: Fubing Wang, E-mail: Diansheng Cui, E-mail:
Author for correspondence: Fubing Wang, E-mail: Diansheng Cui, E-mail:


Bladder cancer is the most common malignant tumour of the urinary system that is characterised by significant intra-tumoural heterogeneity. While large-scale sequencing projects have provided a preliminary understanding of tumour heterogeneity, these findings are based on the average signals obtained from the pooled populations of diverse cells. Recent advances in single-cell sequencing (SCS) technologies have been critical in this regard, opening up new ways of understanding the nuanced tumour biology by identifying distinct cellular subpopulations, dissecting the tumour microenvironment, and characterizing cellular genomic mutations. By integrating these novel insights, SCS technologies are expected to make powerful and meaningful changes to the current diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer through the identification and usage of novel biomarkers as well as targeted therapeutics. SCS can discriminate complex heterogeneity in a large population of tumour cells and determine the key molecular properties that influence clinical outcomes. Here, we review the advances in single-cell technologies and discuss their applications in cancer research and clinical practice, with a specific focus on bladder cancer.

Copyright © The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press

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