Date of Graduation


Document Type

Dissertation (PhD)

Program Affiliation

Genes and Development

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Advisor/Committee Chair

Nicholas Navin, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Keith Baggerly, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Mary Edgerton, M.D., Ph.D.

Committee Member

Vicki Huff, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ralf Krahe, Ph.D.


Synchronous Ductal Carcinoma in situ (DCIS-IDC) is an early stage breast cancer invasion in which it is possible to delineate genomic evolution during invasion because of the presence of both in situ and invasive regions within the same sample. While laser capture microdissection studies of DCIS-IDC examined the relationship between the paired in situ (DCIS) and invasive (IDC) regions, these studies were either confounded by bulk tissue or limited to a small set of genes or markers. To overcome these challenges, we developed Topographic Single Cell Sequencing (TSCS), which combines laser-catapulting with single cell DNA sequencing to measure genomic copy number profiles from single tumor cells while preserving their spatial context. We applied TSCS to sequence 1,293 single cells from 10 synchronous DCIS patients. We also applied deep-exome sequencing to the in situ, invasive and normal tissues for the DCIS-IDC patients. Previous bulk tissue studies had produced several conflicting models of tumor evolution. Our data support a multiclonal invasion model, in which genome evolution occurs within the ducts and gives rise to multiple subclones that escape the ducts into the adjacent tissues to establish the invasive carcinomas. In summary, we have developed a novel method for single cell DNA sequencing, which preserves spatial context, and applied this method to understand clonal evolution during the transition between carcinoma in situ to invasive ductal carcinoma.


single cell sequencing, breast cancer



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