Study: Dynamic transcriptional reprogramming leads to novel immunotherapeutic vulnerabilities in myeloma. 0 cells
While there is extensive evidence for genetic variation as a basis for treatment resistance, other sources of variation result from cellular plasticity. Using multiple myeloma as an example of an incurable lymphoid malignancy, we show how cancer cells modulate lineage restriction, adapt their enhancer usage and employ cell-intrinsic diversity for survival and treatment escape. By using single cell transcriptome and chromatin accessibility profiling, we show that distinct transcriptional states co-exist in individual cancer cells and that differential transcriptional regulon usage and enhancer rewiring underlie these alternate transcriptional states. We demonstrate that exposure to standard treatment further promotes transcriptional reprogramming and differential enhancer recruitment, while simultaneously reducing developmental potential. Importantly, treatment generates a distinct complement of actionable immunotherapy targets, such as CXCR4, which can be exploited to overcome treatment resistance. Our studies therefore delineate how to transform the cellular plasticity that underlies drug resistance into immuno-oncologic therapeutic opportunities.