How will emerging single-cell analyses impact clinical care in the future? What does it offer that existing technologies don’t?

Find out by attending the first session at AACC’s Emerging Clinical & Laboratory Diagnostics conference in Los Angeles.

Single-cell analysis “enables us to identify heterogeneity and unique information that otherwise would be masked by ensemble averages reported by cell analysis techniques that require bulk populations of cells,” the session’s moderator, Lydia L. Sohn, PhD, professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, told CLN Stat.

Through this type of analysis, one could potentially address personalized medicine by enabling clinicians to develop specific therapies for a particular patient, Sohn explained. “For example, in cancer, not all HER2-positive breast cancers are the same, and knowing this can lead to a specific therapy for a patient. We are beginning to learn that other cancers might be of similar vein when investigating the cancer at the single-cell level,” she added.

The session on single-cell analyses starts with a presentation by Sunita Nagrath, PhD, on microfluidic technologies for isolating and studying circulating tumor cells. An assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Michigan, Nagrath “will be talking about her beautiful and exciting work in using novel microfluidics to isolate circulating tumor cells from the peripheral blood of cancer patients. She is also taking her work to another level and is performing secondary analysis, e.g. next-generation sequencing, on these isolated cells to determine the uniqueness of the patient’s cancer,” according to Sohn.

Marc A. Unger, PhD, senior vice president for research and development with San Francisco-based Fluidigm Corporation will follow up with a discussion about time-of-flight flow cytometry for single-cell analysis. Specifically, his talk will highlight Fluidigm’s CyTOF system, which integrates mass spectrometry with flow cytometry. “The technology is able to perform single-cell analysis and screen for more than 70 parameters per cell,” Sohn said.

Geoffrey Facer, PhD, director of product development with Cellular Research, a biotechnology research and development company in Palo Alto, California, will round out the session with a talk on single-cell transcriptomics. Sohn noted that “Cellular Research’s technology is high throughput, and the company was recently acquired by BD,” a global medical technology company.

“Pushing the envelope” is the theme of this year’s Emerging Clinical & Laboratory Diagnostics conference, which will highlight diagnostic technologies of the future. 2015’s conference will take place Nov. 5-6.

Register online for the Emerging Clinical & Laboratory Diagnostics conference to take part in the single-cell analysis conversation and attend other exciting sessions on emerging diagnostic technologies.