WESTWOOD—Research teams from both Cedars-Sinai and UCLA have developed a technology that can identify circulating tumor cells that break away from the tumor and can enter the blood stream.
The tumor cells are referred to as CTCs and often cause the spread of cancer to other parts of the body. If this system is tested and proven to be effective, it can lead to doctors finding and identifying types of cancer in individuals quicker and giving each individual the unique treatment they require.
Additionally, because tumors can change and develop over time, doctors are hopeful that this new technology can aid in better understanding the way tumors grow and evolve in the human body and how they can better treat cancerous tumors.
A posting on Cedars-Sinai Medical Center’s website says that “with the new system, a patient’s blood is pumped through the NanoVelcro Chip — the microvilli protruding from the cancer cells will stick to the nanofiber structures on the device’s surface, much like Velcro. Next, laser capture microdissection technology allows the scientists to selectively cut out and pick up the CTCs from the NanoVelcro Chip.”
The latter process rids the cancerous cells of any contamination that may have spread. The source goes on to explain that “finally, the isolated and purified CTCs are subjected to single cell 'next-generation' sequencing, which reveals mutations in the genetic material of the cells." This can in turn help doctors in finding treatments specified for each individual.
Research is still ongoing and the medical team at both Cedars-Sinai and UCLA are working diligently to hone this new technology in the hopes that it can further cancer research and our understanding of cancerous tumors in the future.
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