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SummaryThe inter-differentiation between cell states promotes cancer cell survival under stress and fosters non-genetic heterogeneity (NGH). NGH is, therefore, a surrogate of tumor resilience but its quantification is confounded by genetic heterogeneity. Here we show that NGH can be accurately measured when informed by the molecular signatures of the normal cells of origin. We surveyed the transcriptomes of ∼ 4000 normal fallopian tube epithelial (FTE) cells, the cells of origin of serous ovarian cancer (SOC), and identified six FTE subtypes. We used subtype signatures to deconvolute SOC expression data and found substantial intra-tumor NGH that was previously unrecognized. Importantly, NGH-based stratification of ∼1700 tumors robustly predicted survival. Our findings lay the foundation for accurate prognostic and therapeutic stratification of SOC.HighlightsThe projection of FTE subtypes refines the molecular classification of serous OCComprehensive single-cell profiling of FTE cells identifies 6 molecular subtypesSubstantial non-genetic heterogeneity of HGSOC identified in 1700 tumorsA mesenchymal-high HGSOC subtype is robustly correlated with poor prognosis

Original publication




Journal article


Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Publication Date