Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Revisiting the need to detect circulating tumor cells

17.03.2010
One of the most dangerous characteristics of cancer is its ability to metastasize, or spread through the body. For this reason, oncologists have a major need for better tests to detect cells that break away from primary tumors to travel to other parts of the body.

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!
Further information:
http://www.fccc.edu

Further reports about: Cancer breast cancer circulating tumor cells tumor cells

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht One step closer to reality
20.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Entwicklungsbiologie

nachricht The dark side of cichlid fish: from cannibal to caregiver
20.04.2018 | Veterinärmedizinische Universität Wien

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>