Single-cell RNA-seq reveals intratumoral heterogeneity in osteosarcoma patients: A review

Dylan D. Thomas, Ryan A. Lacinski, Brock A. Lindsey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


While primary bone malignancies make up just 0.2% of all cancers, osteosarcoma (OS) is the third most common cancer in adolescents. Due to its highly complex and heterogeneous tumor microenvironment (TME), OS has proven difficult to treat. There has been little to no improvement in therapy for this disease over the last 40 years. Even the recent success of immunotherapies in other blood-borne and solid malignancies has not translated to OS. With frequent recurrence and lung metastases continuing to pose a challenge in the clinic, recent advancements in molecular profiling, such as single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), have proven useful in identifying novel biomarkers of OS tumors while providing new insight into this TME that could potentially lead to new therapeutic options. This review combines the analyses of over 150,000 cells from 18 lesions ranging from primary, recurrent, and metastatic OS lesions, revealing distinct cellular populations and gene signatures that exist between them. Here, we detail these previous findings and ultimately convey the intratumoral heterogeneity that exists within OS tumor specimens.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100475
JournalJournal of Bone Oncology
StatePublished - Apr 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Intratumoral heterogeneity
  • Metastasis
  • Microenvironment
  • Osteosarcoma
  • Recurrence
  • Sequencing
  • Single-cell

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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