Effective identification of these cells, referred to as circulating tumor cells (CTC's), could help guide treatment and improve quality of life for many cancer patients. A commentary in the March 17 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association assesses the existing technology available to detect these cells and points to the need for still more progress in this area.
"The topic of circulating tumor cells has become more and more important as our knowledge of cancer and, in particular, breast cancer has evolved and as the technology to detect these cells has improved," says Massimo Cristofanilli, M.D., F.A.C.P., chair of the department of medical oncology at Fox Chase Cancer Center and lead author of the commentary. "But even though progress has been made, we need even better capabilities to detect these cells, which can tell us so much about the course of a patient's cancer."
Currently there is only one standardized and validated test approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the detection of CTC's, called the CellSearchTM system. CellSearch is a simple blood test that captures and assesses CTC's to determine the prognosis of patients with metastatic breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer at any time. This test, however, is only able to count CTC's and therefore additional technologies are being explored to capture more cells, different populations of the cells, and the gene expression patterns of the cells.
"It's important for us to look at all of these technologies in a more critical way to see which technologies are best at distinguishing between cells that have simply been shed by the tumor and those that are, instead demonstrating more aggressive," says Cristofanilli.
Using technologies that complement one another may also help improve the process of detecting these cells and design more personalized therapies. "For example, with inflammatory breast cancer we know that one technology alone will not help in detecting these cells," says Cristofanilli. "This doesn't mean they aren't there, it just means we aren't able to see them. It's like using a camera—by using full color, rather than black and white, you're able to see more distinct details."
Fox Chase Cancer Center is one of the leading cancer research and treatments centers in the United States. Founded in 1904 in Philadelphia as one of the nation's first cancer hospitals, Fox Chase was also among the first institutions to be designated a National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center in 1974. Fox Chase researchers have won the highest awards in their fields, including two Nobel Prizes. Fox Chase physicians are also routinely recognized in national rankings, and the Center's nursing program has received the Magnet status for excellence three consecutive times. Today, Fox Chase conducts a broad array of nationally competitive basic, translational, and clinical research, with special programs in cancer prevention, detection, survivorship, and community outreach. For more information, visit Fox Chase's web site at www.fccc.edu or call 1-888-FOX-CHASE or 1-888-369-2427.
Diana Quattrone | EurekAlert!
Multi-institutional collaboration uncovers how molecular machines assemble
02.12.2016 | Salk Institute
Fertilized egg cells trigger and monitor loss of sperm’s epigenetic memory
02.12.2016 | IMBA - Institut für Molekulare Biotechnologie der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften GmbH
A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.
Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...
In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.
“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...
The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.
The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...
Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water
In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...
The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...
16.11.2016 | Event News
01.11.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering
02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science
02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy