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Phenotyping EMT and MET cellular states in lung cancer patient liquid biopsies at a personalized level using mass cytometry. Scientific reports Karacosta, L. G., Pancirer, D., Preiss, J. S., Benson, J. A., Trope, W., Shrager, J. B., Sung, A. W., Neal, J. W., Bendall, S. C., Wakelee, H., Plevritis, S. K. 2023; 13 (1): 21781


Malignant pleural effusions (MPEs) can be utilized as liquid biopsy for phenotyping malignant cells and for precision immunotherapy, yet MPEs are inadequately studied at the single-cell proteomic level. Here we leverage mass cytometry to interrogate immune and epithelial cellular profiles of primary tumors and pleural effusions (PEs) from early and late-stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients, with the goal of assessing epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) states in patient specimens. By using the EMT-MET reference map PHENOSTAMP, we observe a variety of EMT states in cytokeratin positive (CK+) cells, and report for the first time MET-enriched CK+ cells in MPEs. We show that these states may be relevant to disease stage and therapy response. Furthermore, we found that the fraction of CD33+ myeloid cells in PEs was positively correlated to the fraction of CK+ cells. Longitudinal analysis of MPEs drawn 2 months apart from a patient undergoing therapy, revealed that CK+ cells acquired heterogeneous EMT features during treatment. We present this work as a feasibility study that justifies deeper characterization of EMT and MET states in malignant cells found in PEs as a promising clinical platform to better evaluate disease progression and treatment response at a personalized level.

View details for DOI 10.1038/s41598-023-46458-5

View details for PubMedID 38065965

View details for PubMedCentralID 2689101