ENDOCRINE TUMORS: Edited by Julie Ann SosaSingle-cell approaches for molecular classification of endocrine tumorsKoh, Jamesa; Allbritton, Nancy L.b; Sosa, Julie A.c Author Information aDepartment of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham bDepartment of Biomedical Engineering, University of North Carolina and N.C. State University, Raleigh cDepartments of Surgery and Medicine, Duke Cancer Institute and Duke Clinical Research Institute, Durham, North Carolina, USA Correspondence to James Koh, PhD, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, 3873, Durham, NC 27705, USA. Tel: +1 919 684 0892; e-mail: [email protected] Current Opinion in Oncology: January 2016 - Volume 28 - Issue 1 - p 43-49 doi: 10.1097/CCO.0000000000000246 Buy Metrics Abstract Purpose of review In this review, we summarize recent developments in single-cell technologies that can be employed for the functional and molecular classification of endocrine cells in normal and neoplastic tissue. Recent findings The emergence of new platforms for the isolation, analysis, and dynamic assessment of individual cell identity and reactive behavior enables experimental deconstruction of intratumoral heterogeneity and other contexts where variability in cell signaling and biochemical responsiveness inform biological function and clinical presentation. These tools are particularly appropriate for examining and classifying endocrine neoplasias, as the clinical sequelae of these tumors are often driven by disrupted hormonal responsiveness secondary to compromised cell signaling. Single-cell methods allow for multidimensional experimental designs incorporating both spatial and temporal parameters with the capacity to probe dynamic cell signaling behaviors and kinetic response patterns dependent upon sequential agonist challenge. Summary Intratumoral heterogeneity in the provenance, composition, and biological activity of different forms of endocrine neoplasia presents a significant challenge for prognostic assessment. Single-cell technologies provide an array of powerful new approaches uniquely well suited for dissecting complex endocrine tumors. Studies examining the relationship between clinical behavior and tumor compositional variations in cellular activity are now possible, providing new opportunities to deconstruct the underlying mechanisms of endocrine neoplasia. Copyright © 2016 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. All rights reserved.