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New Method to Capture live Circulating Tumor Cells

Oct 23, 2020

Recently, scientists developed a new detection method to analyze Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) in the peripheral blood.

Led by Prof. DAI Haiming and NIE Jinfu from the Hefei Institutes of Physical Science (HFIPS), the research team reported how they captured live CTCs with immunomagnetic beads and flow cytometry.

In the process, they enriched CTCs with CD45 and CD326 immunomagnetic beads and identified them with CD45-PE and CD326-APC immune-fluorescence antibodies.

High patient mortality of tumor is mainly due to metastasis. CTCs, which are detached cells slough off the edges of a solid tumor and swept away by the blood stream or lymphatic system, represent the primary cause of metastasis formation. Because of the same origin between CTCs and primary tumor, CTCs often hold the genetic information of the primary tumor.

Clinical studies have demonstrated that CTCs in peripheral blood are implicated in tumor progression and metastasis development. Thus, CTC detection is considered to be a promising liquid biopsy. In contrast to many other traditional biopsy operations, the acquisition of specimens for CTC detection is more convenient, less traumatic, less painful, and more repeatable. However, the low concentration, ranging from 1 to 10 cells per 10 mL peripheral blood, poses a serious challenge for CTC detection.

Compared with current CellSearch system which has limitation on its identification methods to mainly microscopic examination, reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction and sequencing when capturing CTCs from 7.5 mL blood, this new way boasts with rate from nearly undetectable to more than 24.14%.

Moreover, because the process doesn't involve membrane permeabilization and cell fixation, isolated CTCs can be further cultured to obtain more information about primary tumor.

These intact CTCs could provide the clinicians rapid stratification of antitumor therapy, and also permit basic researchers to further characterize the molecular and cellular features of CTC. 

Enrichment and detection of circulating tumor cells by immunomagnetic beads and flow cytometry

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