Exploring the advances of single-cell RNA sequencing in thyroid cancer: a narrative review

Joecelyn Kirani Tan*, Wireko Andrew Awuah, Sakshi Roy, Tomas Ferreira, Arjun Ahluwalia, Saibaba Guggilapu, Mahnoor Javed, Muhammad Mikail Athif Zhafir Asyura, Favour Tope Adebusoye, Krishna Ramamoorthy, Emma Paoletti, Toufik Abdul-Rahman, Olga Prykhodko, Denys Ovechkin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Thyroid cancer, a prevalent form of endocrine malignancy, has witnessed a substantial increase in occurrence in recent decades. To gain a comprehensive understanding of thyroid cancer at the single-cell level, this narrative review evaluates the applications of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) in thyroid cancer research. ScRNA-seq has revolutionised the identification and characterisation of distinct cell subpopulations, cell-to-cell communications, and receptor interactions, revealing unprecedented heterogeneity and shedding light on novel biomarkers for therapeutic discovery. These findings aid in the construction of predictive models on disease prognosis and therapeutic efficacy. Altogether, scRNA-seq has deepened our understanding of the tumour microenvironment immunologic insights, informing future studies in the development of effective personalised treatment for patients. Challenges and limitations of scRNA-seq, such as technical biases, financial barriers, and ethical concerns, are discussed. Advancements in computational methods, the advent of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL), and the importance of single-cell data sharing and collaborative efforts are highlighted. Future directions of scRNA-seq in thyroid cancer research include investigating intra-tumoral heterogeneity, integrating with other omics technologies, exploring the non-coding RNA landscape, and studying rare subtypes. Overall, scRNA-seq has transformed thyroid cancer research and holds immense potential for advancing personalised therapies and improving patient outcomes. Efforts to make this technology more accessible and cost-effective will be crucial to ensuring its widespread utilisation in healthcare.
Original languageEnglish
Article number27
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Oncology
Early online date21 Dec 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Dec 2023


  • Single-cell RNA sequencing
  • Thyroid cancer
  • Personalised medicine
  • Tumour microenvironment
  • Tumour heterogeneity
  • Medical oncology


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