Variable clonal repopulation dynamics influence chemotherapy response in colorectal cancer

Antonija Kreso, Catherine A. O'Brien, Peter Van Galen, Olga I. Gan, Faiyaz Notta, Andrew M K Brown, Karen Ng, Ma Jing, Erno Wienholds, Cyrille Dunant, Aaron Pollett, Steven Gallinger, John Douglas Mcpherson, Charles G. Mullighan, Darryl Shibata, John E. Dick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

453 Scopus citations


Intratumoral heterogeneity arises through the evolution of genetically diverse subclones during tumor progression. However, it remains unknown whether cells within single genetic clones are functionally equivalent. By combining DNA copy number alteration (CNA) profiling, sequencing, and lentiviral lineage tracking, we followed the repopulation dynamics of 150 single lentivirus-marked lineages from 10 human colorectal cancers through serial xenograft passages in mice. CNA and mutational analysis distinguished individual clones and showed that clones remained stable upon serial transplantation. Despite this stability, the proliferation, persistence, and chemotherapy tolerance of lentivirally marked lineages were variable within each clone. Chemotherapy promoted the dominance of previously minor or dormant lineages. Thus, apart from genetic diversity, tumor cells display inherent functional variability in tumor propagation potential, which contributes to both cancer growth and therapy tolerance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)543-548
Number of pages6
Issue number6119
StatePublished - Feb 1 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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