Abstract Esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) is a common and aggressive malignancy, with hitherto dismal clinical outcome. Genomic analyses of patient samples reveal a complex heterogeneous landscape for ESCC, which presents in both intertumor and intratumor forms, manifests at both genomic and epigenomic levels, and contributes significantly to tumor evolution, drug resistance, and metastasis. Here, we review the important molecular characteristics underlying ESCC heterogeneity, with an emphasis on genomic aberrations and their functional contribution to cancer evolutionary trajectories. We further discuss how novel experimental tools, including single-cell sequencing and three-dimensional organoids, may advance our understanding of tumor heterogeneity. Lastly, we suggest that deciphering the mechanisms governing tumor heterogeneity holds the potential to developing precision therapeutics for ESCC patients.[…]
Biological Significance of Tumor Heterogeneity in Esophageal Squamous Cell Carcinoma.