Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Scientific Communities
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Circulating Tumor Cells can Reveal Genetic Signature of Dangerous Lung Cancers

Published: Friday, July 04, 2008
Last Updated: Friday, July 04, 2008
Bookmark and Share
MGH-developed device promises improvements in targeted therapy, treatment monitoring.

Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators have shown that an MGH-developed, microchip-based device that detects and analyzes tumor cells in the bloodstream can be used to determine the genetic signature of lung tumors, allowing identification of those appropriate for targeted treatment and monitoring genetic changes that occur during therapy.

A pilot study of the device called the CTC-chip will appear in the July 24 New England Journal of Medicine and is receiving early online release.

"The CTC-chip opens up a whole new field of studying tumors in real time,” says Daniel Haber, MD, director of the MGH Cancer Center and the study’s senior author.

“When the device is ready for larger clinical trials, it should give us new options for measuring treatment response, defining prognostic and predictive measures, and studying the biology of blood-borne metastasis, which is the primary method by which cancer spreads and becomes lethal.”

CTCs or circulating tumor cells are living solid-tumor cells found at extremely low levels in the bloodstream. Until the development of the CTC-chip by researchers from the MGH Cancer Center and BioMEMS (BioMicroElectroMechanical Systems) Resource Center, it was not possible to get information from CTCs that would be useful for clinical decision-making.

The current study was designed to find whether the device could go beyond detecting CTCs to helping analyze the genetic mutations that can make a tumor sensitive to treatment with targeted therapy drugs.

The CTC-chip was used to analyze blood samples from 27 patients – 23 who had EGFR mutations and 4 who did not – and CTCs were identified in samples from all patients. Genetic analysis of CTCs from mutation-positive tumors detected those mutations 92 percent of the time.

In addition to the primary mutation that leads to initial tumor development and TKI sensitivity, the CTC-chip also detected a secondary mutation associated with treatment resistance in some participants, including those whose tumors originally responded to treatment but later resumed growing.

“If tumor genotypes don’t remain static during therapy, it’s essential to know exactly what you’re treating at the time you are treating it,” says Haber.

“Biopsy samples taken at the time of diagnosis can never tell us about changes emerging during therapy or genotypic differences that may occur in different sites of the original tumor, but the CTC-chip offers the promise of noninvasive continuous monitoring.” Haber is the Kurt J. Isselbacher/Peter D. Schwartz Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,800+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,000+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

First Gene that Causes Mitral Valve Prolapse Identified
An international research collaboration led by MGH investigators has identified the first gene in which mutations cause the common form of mitral valve prolapse, a heart valve disorder that affects almost 2.5 percent of the population.
Tuesday, August 11, 2015
Intracellular Microlasers Could Allow Precise Labeling of up to a Trillion Individual Cells
MGH investigators have induced structures incorporated within individual cells to produce laser light at wavelengths that differ based on the size, shape and composition of each microlaser, allowing precise labeling of individual cells.
Tuesday, August 04, 2015
Evo-Engineered CRISPR-Cas9s Hit More Gene-Editing Targets
Scientists have engineered a more effective CRISPR- Cas9 system paving the way for more advanced applications.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Reducing Chemotherapy Drug’s Cardiac Side Effects
Preventing doxorubicin-induced cardiotoxicity could improve chemotherapy outcomes, reduce heart failure risk.
Thursday, December 11, 2014
Direct Drug Screening Of Biopsies Could Overcome Resistance
Combining genetic with pharmacologic screening of tumors may enable truly individualized treatment regimens.
Monday, November 17, 2014
Culture System Replicates Course Of Alzheimer’s Disease
Three-dimensional system should significantly reduce time and costs of drug development.
Monday, October 20, 2014
Genetic Signals Reflect the Evolutionary Impact of Cholera
Study identifies regions of genome associated with cholera susceptibility in Bangladesh.
Monday, July 08, 2013
Powerful Gene-Editing Tool Appears to Cause Off-Target Mutations in Human Cells
Results indicate need to improve precision of CRISPR-Cas RNA-guided nucleases.
Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Mass. General, Duke Study Identifies Two Genes that Combine to Cause Rare Syndrome
Mutations in genes that regulate cellular metabolism found in families with ataxia, dementia and reproductive failure.
Monday, May 13, 2013
Phase 1 ALS Trial is First to Test Antisense Treatment of Neurodegenerative Disease
No serious adverse effects seem from central-nervous-system infusion of drug that blocks mutated protein.
Tuesday, April 09, 2013
Protein Controlling Glucose Metabolism also a Tumor Suppressor
A protein known to regulate how cells process glucose also appears to be a tumor suppressor, adding to the potential that therapies directed at cellular metabolism may help suppress tumor growth.
Tuesday, December 11, 2012
Detection, Analysis of 'Cell Dust' may Allow Diagnosis, Monitoring of Brain Cancer
System combining nanotechnology and NMR detects particles shed by brain tumors in bloodstream.
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Gene Variation may Elevate Risk of Liver Tumor in Patients with Cirrhosis
A single alteration in the epidermal growth factor (EFG) gene may greatly increase the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma, researchers say.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
Scientific News
High Throughput Mass Spectrometry-Based Screening Assay Trends
Dr John Comley provides an insight into HT MS-based screening with a focus on future user requirements and preferences.
Promising Drug Combination for Advanced Prostate Cancer
A new drug combination may be effective in treating men with metastatic prostate cancer. Preliminary results of this new approach are encouraging and have led to an ongoing international study being conducted in 196 hospitals worldwide.
A Cellular Symphony Responsible for Autoimmune Disease
Broad Institute researchers have used a novel approach to increase our understanding of the immune system as a whole.
When it Comes to Breast Cancer, Common Pigeon is No Bird Brain
If pigeons went to medical school and specialized in pathology or radiology, they’d be pretty good at distinguishing digitized microscope slides and mammograms of normal vs. cancerous breast tissue, a new study has found.
Editing of LIMS Data Made Faster and More Efficient in Matrix Gemini
The latest version of the Matrix Gemini LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) from Autoscribe Informatics now provides faster and more efficient editing of LIMS data by eliminating the need for a second editing screen.
How a Genetic Locus Protects Adult Blood-Forming Stem Cells
Mammalian imprinted Gtl2 protects adult hematopoietic stem cells by restricting metabolic activity in the cells' mitochondria.
Genetic Basis of Fatal Flu Side Effect Discovered
A group of people with fatal H1N1 flu died after their viral infections triggered a deadly hyperinflammatory disorder in susceptible individuals with gene mutations linked to the overactive immune response, according to a recent study.
New Tech Vastly Improves CRISPR/Cas9 Accuracy
A new CRISPR/Cas9 technology developed by scientists at UMass Medical School is precise enough to surgically edit DNA at nearly any genomic location, while avoiding potentially harmful off-target changes typically seen in standard CRISPR gene editing techniques.
The MaxSignal Colistin ELISA Test Kit from Bioo Scientific
Kit can help prevent the antibiotic apocalypse by keeping last resort drugs out of the food supply.
"Good" Mozzie Virus Might Hold Key to Fighting Human Disease
Australian scientists have discovered a new virus carried by one of the country’s most common pest mosquitoes.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,800+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,000+ scientific videos