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A cost-effective way toward personalized cancer drugs
Date:10/25/2013

echanically disrupting a tumor sample and then use enzymes to generate a single cell suspension. They then culture the cell mixture for seven days in the presence of various different cytostatic agents, allowing them to see which drug proves most effective. "Performing the different stages manually makes this way of testing not only very expensive but also more prone to error," says Siegert, citing the drawbacks of the method used to date. "Manual cell isolation methods provide a comparatively low sample yield. Moreover, in addition to tumor cells, the samples used for testing tend to contain a variety of other cell types, any of which is capable of affecting the outcome of the test."

Scientists from Fraunhofer IPA's Project Group for Automation in Medical Engineering and Bioengineering PAMB decided to tackle this issue. Together with colleagues from Universitts-Frauenklinik Tbingen and DITABIS Digital Biomedical Imaging Systems AG, they have developed an automated test system which they have dubbed DiagnoSYS. The full title behind the name is Innovative Diagnostic System for Automated Personalized Chemosensitivity Assays.

The system optimizes chemosensitivity tests used to date: the process starts with the automated, mechanical disruption and enzymatic preparation of the tissue sample. The scientists then use magnetic bead activated cell sorting to enrich the yield of tumor cells. This involves equipping antibodies with magnetic particles. These "magnetic" antibodies recognize and bind onto specific structures on the surface of tumor cells, allowing targeted separation of the tumor cells from the rest of the sample. The tumor cells are then cultured together with a variety of cytostatic agents.

The scientists use an ATP luminescence assay in order to evaluate which drugs succeed in killing off cancer cells and which fail. In living cells, ATP (adenosine triphosphate) is a universal energy source. The scientists treat the sample with a lum
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Contact: Axel Storz
axel.storz@ipa.fraunhofer.de
49-711-970-3660
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Source:Eurekalert  

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