Cultured circulating tumor cells reveal genetic profile of breast cancer cells

the ONA take:

Researchers based at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Engineering in Medicine and the MGH Cancer Center have created a microchip device, called the CTC-iChip, which can capture circulating tumor cells in order to track ongoing genetic mutation within a tumor. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are living solid-tumor cells that separate from either primary or secondary tumors and go on to move through the bloodstream. The focus of this study was to examine the CTC-iChip and determine if the device could properly capture CTCs to aid the formation of cell lines to represent the genetic status of all existing tumor sites. 

The study authors isolated CTCs from the blood of 36 patients that had metastatic, ER-positive breast cancer. Cell lines with longevity were successfully established from 6 patients. Additional samples from 3 of these patients were used to set up new cell lines to track the effectiveness of therapy via tumor change. It was possible for the study group to were able to screen for mutations in approximately one thousand known cancer-associated genes.

The ability to effectively culture CTCs and examine them for genetic changes can be used to find targetable mutations and discover which therapeutic drugs are most effective. 

Cultured circulating tumor cells reveal genetic profile of breast cancer cells
Cultured circulating tumor cells reveal genetic profile of breast cancer cells
Circulating tumor cells captured with a microchip-based device developed at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Center for Engineering in Medicine and the MGH Cancer Center can be cultured to establish cell lines for genetic analysis and drug testing. 
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