We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us
Technopath Clinical Diagnostics - An LGC Company

Download Mobile App




Events

ATTENTION: Due to the COVID-19 PANDEMIC, many events are being rescheduled for a later date, converted into virtual venues, or altogether cancelled. Please check with the event organizer or website prior to planning for any forthcoming event.

Simple Blood Test Detection Method Could Revolutionize Cancer Treatment

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 15 Aug 2022
Print article
Image: New chip could make treating metastatic cancer easier and faster (Photo courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology)
Image: New chip could make treating metastatic cancer easier and faster (Photo courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology)

Cancer spreads via circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that travel through the blood to other organs, and they are nearly impossible to track. When a tumor starts metastasizing, it sheds its cell into the blood. An individual cell often doesn’t survive the bloodstream on its own, but clusters of cells are much more robust and can travel to other organs, effectively pushing the cancer to a metastatic state. CTCs have proven difficult to study, let alone treat. Blood contains billions of cells per milliliter, and only a handful of those cells would be CTCs in a patient with metastatic cancer. Such intense filtration has been inaccessible using conventional lab methods. Most traditional filtration is too aggressive and would break the cluster back into single cells and ruin the ability to study the effect of a cluster. Now, a new detection method could revolutionize cancer treatment by showing how cancers metastasize and what stage they are. This could lead to earlier and more targeted treatment, beginning with a simple blood test.

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA, USA) have invented a new type of chip called the Cluster-Well, combining the precision of microfluidic chips with the efficiency of membrane filtration to find CTC clusters. Using micron-sized features, microfluidic chips can precisely locate each cell in a blood sample and determine if it’s cancerous. To rapidly process a clinically relevant volume of blood, the researchers relied on membrane filtration to make the chip operation more scalable. In effect, the chip looks like a standard membrane filter, but under an electron microscope the microfluidic chip reveals its delicate structure used to capture clusters while letting other blood cells pass through. Practicality was just as important as functionality to the researchers. Although the chip is initially fabricated with silicon just like a central processing unit in a computer, it is later transferred to polymers to make it accessible, affordable, and single-use, while still retaining its delicacy and precision.

The researchers used the chip to screen blood samples from patients with ovarian or prostate cancers. They isolated CTC clusters ranging from two to 100 or more cells from prostate and ovarian cancer patients and used RNA sequencing to analyze a subset. The chip’s unique design means CTC clusters are filtered in microwells and can later be accessed for further analysis. Even a single CTC can contain a significant amount of data on the patient and their specific cancer, which can be critical for managing the disease. For example, the researchers noted hundreds of CTCs in clusters in the blood of ovarian cancer patients, some still alive, a finding that could be consequential to the spread of the disease. Also, by sequencing the RNA in prostate CTC clusters isolated by the chip, the researchers identified specific genes expressed by these metastasizing cells. Importantly, CTC clusters from different patients were shown to express different genes, which can be potentially utilized to develop personalized, targeted therapies. The researchers envision Cluster-Wells as being a routine part of the treatment process to determine what stage the cancer is at from a simple blood draw.

“Finding these clusters was very elusive,” said School of Electrical and Computer Engineering Associate Professor Fatih Sarioglu. “But this is a technology that allows these precious circulating tumor cell clusters virtually in any cancer to be accessed with precision and practicality that has not been possible before.”

Related Links:
Georgia Institute of Technology 

New
Gold Supplier
Real-Time PCR System
STC-96A Plus
New
Rapid Procalcitonin (PCT) Test
AQT90 FLEX PCT Assay
New
Infliximab Immunoassay
RIDASCREEN IFX Monitoring
New
Real-Time Fluorescent Quantitative PCR System
AccuRa-32

Print article
IIR Middle East

Channels

Hematology

view channel
Image: The newly-launched solutions support OGT’s growing NGS portfolio (Photo courtesy of OGT)

New NGS Solutions Provide Powerful Tool for Myeloid Research with Highly Efficient Workflow

OGT (Oxford, UK), a Sysmex Group (Kobe, Japan) company, has launched several new solutions to support its growing next-generation sequencing (NGS) portfolio. These include the SureSeq Myeloid Plus panel,... Read more

Technology

view channel
Image: The MasSpec Pen, a handheld mass spectrometry-based device, enables rapid analysis of biological samples, including clinically relevant bacteria (Photo courtesy of Vivian Abagiu/University of Texas)

Handheld Mass Spectrometry Probe Identifies Clinically Relevant Bacteria

Rapid identification of bacteria is critical to prevent antimicrobial resistance and ensure positive patient outcomes. Identifying bacteria while a patient is still in surgery could allow doctors to more... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2022 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.