News Column

Research from University of Texas Reveals New Findings on Blood Cells (Versatile immunomagnetic nanocarrier platform for capturing cancer cells)

July 15, 2014

By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Cancer Weekly -- Investigators publish new report on Blood Cells. According to news reporting out of Austin, Texas, by NewsRx editors, research stated, "Sensitive and quantitative assessment of changes in circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can help in cancer prognosis and in the evaluation of therapeutics efficacy. However, extremely low occurrence of CTCs in the peripheral blood (approximately one CTC per billion blood cells) and potential changes in molecular biomarkers during the process of epithelial to mesenchymal transition create technical hurdles to the enrichment and enumeration of CTCs."

Our news journalists obtained a quote from the research from the University of Texas, "Recently, efforts have been directed toward development of antibody-capture assays based on the expression of the common biomarker-the epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) of epithelium-derived cancer cells. Despite some promising results, the assays relying on EpCAM capture have shown inconsistent sensitivity in clinical settings and often fail to detect CTCs in patients with metastatic cancer. We have addressed this problem by the development of an assay based on hybrid magnetic/plasmonic nanocarriers and a microfluidic channel. In this assay, cancer cells are specifically targeted by antibody-conjugated magnetic nanocarriers and are separated from normal blood cells by a magnetic force in a microfluidic chamber. Subsequently, immunofluorescence staining is used to differentiate CTCs from normal blood cells. We demonstrated in cell models of colon, breast, and skin cancers that this platform can be easily adapted to a variety of biomarkers, targeting both surface receptor molecules and intracellular biomarkers of epithelial-derived cancer cells. Experiments in whole blood showed capture efficiency greater than 90% when two cancer biomarkers are used for cell capture."

According to the news editors, the research concluded: "Thus, the combination of immunotargeted magnetic nanocarriers with microfluidics provides an important platform that can improve the effectiveness of current CTC assays by overcoming the problem of heterogeneity of tumor cells in the circulation."

For more information on this research see: Versatile immunomagnetic nanocarrier platform for capturing cancer cells. Acs Nano, 2013;7(10):8816-23. (American Chemical Society -; Acs Nano -

Our news journalists report that additional information may be obtained by contacting C.H. Wu, Dept. of Biomedical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin , Austin, Texas 78712, United States. Additional authors for this research include Y.Y. Huang, P. Chen, K. Hoshino, H. Liu, E.P. Frenkel, J.X. Zhang and K.V Sokolov (see also Blood Cells).

Keywords for this news article include: Texas, Austin, Cancer, Oncology, Blood Cells, Nanocarriers, United States, Nanotechnology, Emerging Technologies, North and Central America.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC

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Source: Cancer Weekly

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