Advancing Circulating Tumor Cell Capture
Blog Oct 15, 2015
Recently published research conducted at Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University has demonstrated that the Parsortix Cell Separation System from ANGLE plc, showed comparable speed – approximately two hours – in capturing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) for prostate cancer compared to bead-based epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) antibody CTC capturing systems, while also showing improved capture of CTCs that are responsible for metastatic cancer.
To discuss the significance of this study we spoke to Andrew Newland, CEO, ANGLE plc.
JR: Could you provide us with an overview of how the Parsortix™ cell separation system works?
AN: The Parsortix™ cell separation system works through a step-type structure that deploys microfluidic effects to enable cell capture based on a combination of size and deformability. The system also enables automated staining for cell identification, and subsequent recovery (harvesting) of viable cells for downstream analyses from the device. A single-use cassette, designed to capture the cells of interest, is the size of a standard microscope slide. The system is easy to use and can be used with whole blood samples and can handle volumes of <1ml up to 20mls. Unlike other CTC systems, the Parsortix system is agnostic to the cell phenotype which facilitates the capturing and harvesting of all types of cancer cells while maintaining the cell’s integrity.
JR: What impact do you expect the recently published PLOS ONE paper demonstrating Parsotix’s capabilities to have?
AN: ANGLE has established close working relationships with key opinion leaders in major cancer centers globally. These early studies were to independently evaluate the performance of the system in capturing and harvesting circulating cancer cells of interest from patient blood. The recent PLOS ONE publication by Yong-Jie Lu, Barts Cancer Institute is our first peer reviewed publication. We are particularly excited that the Parsortix system specifically enabled some clinically important new observations about the biology of circulating tumor cells. We anticipate that with this publication and others, it will show the versatility of the system to capture and harvest clinically relevant cells and thereby stimulate interest of translational researchers who have been limited by the lack of flexibility of current technologies.
JR: How does this system facilitate targeted cancer diagnostics and personalized treatment of patients?
AN: We all know that each patient’s cancer is different and that their disease will change over time. One of the key benefits of the Parsortix technology is to allow the capturing and harvesting of circulating cells of interest for detailed molecular analysis. This ‘liquid biopsy’ from a simple blood test could provide physicians with a comprehensive overview of a patient’s disease in order to aid in the development of the appropriate treatment protocol.
We recently have seen encouraging evidence of this the Parsortix system being used with RNA marker analysis to potentially help inform clinical decision-making for patients with a pelvic mass suspected of ovarian cancer.
JR: Parsortix demonstrated distinct advantages over other leading CTC systems in the study. What will be your next step in commercializing and promoting the value of this system?
AN: ANGLE ultimately will be pursuing clinical applications. To that end, endorsements by our Key Opinion Leaders and involvement in translational research is paramount. We will continue to pursue these relationships across various disease indications and key geographical territories. Particularly encouraging in this regard is that several groups have identified particular technical barriers that the Parsortix system is able to solve for them in their development of leading edge clinical applications.
Andrew Newland was speaking to Jack Rudd, Editor for Technology Networks.