As reported in Nature Medicine, scientists based at the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, Manchester, UK (CRUK MI), demonstrated that genetic patterns found in blood-borne cancer cells that have come from the patient’s tumor correlated with clinical outcome. The results of their study on these circulating tumor cells (CTCs) “represent a first step toward the identification of an objective biomarker that may define the chemosensitivity of an individual’s [disease] before the start of treatment.”
According to lead researcher Caroline Dive, Ph.D., Deputy Director and Senior Group Leader, CRUK MI, the study identified genetic differences in CTCs from different patients and provided a starting point to understand how drug resistance develops with this aggressive form of cancer.
"Lung cancer has been poorly studied compared to other cancer types due to the challenges in collecting tumor biopsies for genetic analysis,“ explained Dr. Dive. “Our study shows that, starting from a simple blood sample, it is possible to enrich and then isolate individual circulating cancer cells (CTCs) from patients using the CellSearch system followed by the DEPArray technology. This workflow enables the genetic analysis of CTCs with precision and purity and allowed us to anticipate how well and for how long small cell lung cancer patients may respond to chemotherapy."
In contrast to a standard tissue biopsy, a “liquid biopsy” is a burgeoning area where DEPArray technology occupies a place of excellence for the precise isolation and subsequent genetic analysis of CTCs found in the blood. These tumor cells contain important information necessary to understand a cancer’s genetic mutations in order to identify molecular targets for personalized therapies. The great advantage of this type of analysis is that it allows doctors to follow the evolution of the disease in time with a simple blood draw.
DEPArray is the only image-based cell-sorting and isolation platform that delivers pure cells enabling researchers and clinicians to conduct molecular analyses on live or fixed cells with single-cell precision. Helping to move single-cell analysis from bench to bedside, DEPArray is aimed at fulfilling the vision of precision medicine — disease prevention and treatment that takes into account each person’s genetic variability. The technology can isolate and recover individual cells or groups of tumor cells, from tissue samples, as well as cells samples from blood, urine or other body fluid. Moreover, the technology allows isolation of CTCs that are important to identify and characterize, especially in those patients where it is very difficult to reach the primary tumor to obtain a tissue biopsy.
Source: Menarini-Silicon Biosystems