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In Drug resistance updates : reviews and commentaries in antimicrobial and anticancer chemotherapy

Tumor chemosensitivity testing plays a pivotal role in the optimal selection of chemotherapeutic regimens for cancer patients in a personalized manner. High-throughput drug screening approaches have been developed but they failed to take into account intratumor heterogeneity and therefore only provided limited predictive power of therapeutic response to individual cancer patients. Single cancer cell drug sensitivity testing (SCC-DST) has been recently developed to evaluate the variable sensitivity of single cells to different anti-tumor drugs. In this review, we discuss how SCC-DST overcomes the obstacles of traditional drug screening methodologies. We outline critical procedures of SCC-DST responsible for single-cell generation and sorting, cell-drug encapsulation on a microfluidic chip and detection of cell-drug interactions. In SCC-DST, droplet-based microfluidics is emerging as an important platform that integrated various assays and analyses for drug susceptibility tests for individual patients. With the advancement of technology, both fluorescence imaging and label-free analysis have been used for detecting single cell-drug interactions. We also discuss the feasibility of integrating SCC-DST with single-cell RNA sequencing to unravel the mechanisms leading to drug resistance, and utilizing artificial intelligence to facilitate the analysis of various omics data in the evaluation of drug susceptibility. SCC-DST is setting the stage for better drug selection for individual cancer patients in the era of precision medicine.

Yang Chuan, Yang Caibo, Yarden Yosef, To Kenneth K W, Fu Liwu


Artificial intelligence, Droplet-based microfluidics, Drug sensitivity testing, Precision medicine, Single-cell RNA sequencing