Targeting the metastatic niche: Single-cell lineage tracing in prime time

Elijah R. Sommer, Giulia C. Napoli, Cindy H. Chau, Douglas K. Price, William D. Figg*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Identification of actionable drug targets remains a rate-limiting step of, and one of the most prominent barriers to successful drug development for metastatic cancers. CRISPR-Cas9, a tool for making targeted genomic edits, has given rise to various novel applications that have greatly accelerated discovery in developmental biology. Recent work has coupled a CRISPR-Cas9-based lineage tracing platform with single-cell transcriptomics in the unexplored context of cancer metastasis. In this perspective, we briefly reflect on the development of these distinct technological advances and the process by which they have become integrated. We also highlight the importance of single-cell lineage tracing in oncology drug development and suggest the profound capacity of a high-resolution, computational approach to reshape cancer drug discovery by enabling identification of novel metastasis-specific drug targets and mechanisms of resistance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106174
Issue number3
StatePublished - 17 Mar 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer
  • Genomic analysis
  • Phylogenetics


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