Single Cell Sequencing Analysis Uncovers New Immunotherapy Target for Glioblastoma

April 20, 2022

The Challenges of Glioblastoma

Glioblastoma is one of the deadliest and most common types of brain cancer, but is notoriously difficult to treat. 

What makes glioblastoma such a challenging cancer to treat? One, the tumors can be highly heterogeneous, meaning immunotherapies targeting certain mutations will only eliminate a subpopulation of cells in the tumor. Secondly, they occur when the blood brain barrier is weakened, meaning their micro environment is highly unusual and allows for unwanted immune cells to infiltrate the tumor.

High Throughput scRNA-seq Uncovers a New Protein Target

For these highly complex cancer types, researchers are employing next generation sequencing and analysis tools to uncover new therapeutic targets. A recent study in Nature Communications harnessed the power of scRNA-seq on 44 glioblastoma samples from 18 patients and identified a new regulatory protein that could be a future target for immunotherapy. 

The protein, called S100A4, was uncovered during the high throughput single cell analysis to be secreted by glioblastoma cells and immunosuppressive T cells associated with poor patient outcomes. The authors hope that antibodies against S100A4 will allow the “good” immune cells to be freed from the suppression and fight the cancer cells again.

Outsourcing Bioinformatic Analyses

This study highlights the importance of high quality data analysis pipelines for turning sequencing data into actionable biological insights. If the tools and pipelines you need aren’t performing, or don’t exist, consider reaching out to a bioinformatics as a service (BaaS) provider like Bridge Informatics. Skilled computational scientists with the bench experience and biological knowledge to understand your project are what set Bridge Informatics apart from other BaaS providers. Book a free discovery call with us today to see if we can meet your data analysis and pipeline development needs.

Jane Cook, Journalist & Content Writer, Bridge Informatics

Jane is a Content Writer at Bridge Informatics, a professional services firm that helps biotech customers implement advanced techniques in management and analysis of genomic data. Bridge Informatics focuses on data mining, machine learning, and various bioinformatic techniques to discover biomarkers and companion diagnostics. If you’re interested in reaching out, please email or



Illustration of cancer-fighting lymphocytes

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