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Thursday, July 31, 2014

AMAZING HEALTH WORLD# BIOSCIENCE TECHNOLOGY NEWS

Advance in Capturing Elusive Circulating Tumor Cells

Tue, 07/29/2014 - 3:33pm
Cynthia Fox
CTC - in situ RNA hybridization. (Source: Wikimedia/Ryan Jeffs)CTC - in situ RNA hybridization. (Source: Wikimedia/Ryan Jeffs)When cancers spread into the bloodstream, they often take on different characteristics, requiring different therapies. But it is hard to find these rare blood-borne cells. So relapsed patients often do not get personalized care.
Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has come up with a solution that is exciting many oncologists. In Science, MGH Cancer Center Director Daniel Haber reports on a new technology that zeros in on elusive circulating tumor cells (CTCs).
 “CTCs are promising biomarkers for the diagnosis and therapy of systemic cancer,” Dario Marchetti told Bioscience Technology via email. Director of the CTC Core Facility at Baylor College of Medicine, he was not involved in this study, but has cultured CTCs himself. “[Haber’s] work is of value for both CTC biology and clinical areas.”
“I did see the paper, and loved it. Very cool. Great potential,” emailed Steffi Oesterreich, director of education at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Center.  (Oesterreich, too, was uninvolved in the study.)
Stanford Medical School Chief of Surgical Oncology Research Stefanie Jeffrey called it “a critically important proof-of-concept study” providing a path for “improved tumor-specific biological studies” and “facilitating patient-specific and, importantly, real-time drug selection for patients with cancer.”
If all goes well, Jeffrey said by email: “I expect this work to lead to translation into clinical trials within the next five years.”

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