Detection of Rare Cancer Cell Phenotypes by Single Cell Analysis of Surface Proteins
Conference Recording Apr 22, 2013
About the SpeakerDr. Rajan Kumar obtained his PhD from University of Pennsylvania and completed his post-doctoral training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His microfluidics experience spans 15 years. In 1995, he joined Sarnoff Corporation and sought applications of its electronics and semiconductor technologies to biology, especially miniaturized biochemical assays. In 2001, he founded Genome Data Systems, Inc. to develop innovative microfluidics methods and products. His recent focus involves application of microfluidics technologies to cancer problems.
The poor survival of cancer patients is usually due to a rare subpopulation of tumor cells with a high invasive/ metastatic potential, resistance to chemotherapy and a capacity to repopulate the tumor in its complete heterogeneity. Identification of these cells, variously called cancer stem cells or repopulating cells, at the time of initial diagnosis or in tumors during therapy to monitor response to treatment is necessary for personalized medicine. We developed a novel single cell analysis technology called CytoSnap to detect these cells. Using CytoSnap, we analyzed surface protein repertoires of cells defining a cancer stem cell phenotype without the need of labeling or prior handling. Results of experiments to develop this technology to identify cancer stem cell phenotype consisting of simultaneous expression of three or more surface proteins, including IL-13Ra2, CD133 and CXCR4, and to enumerate the frequency of cancer stem cells in breast and pancreatic cancer cell lines and in murine xenograft tumors will be described. These results define the basis for novel approaches to cancer treatment by targeting specific survival signaling pathways identified as necessary in subpopulations of cells with a specific phenotype.