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Catch and release
Date:11/12/2012

lapse," said Weian Zhao, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow from the Karp lab who is now faculty at the University of California, Irvine, and first study author.

In addition to using the device for blood-based cancers, it may find application to isolate cells that break away from solid tumors and travel through the bloodstream.

"What most people don't realize is that it is the metastasis that kills, not the primary tumor," said Karp. "Our device has the potential to catch these cells in the act with its 'tentacles' before they may seed a new tumor in a distant organ."

Moreover, unlike other methods, the device was able to maintain a high purity of the captured cells that could easily be released and cultured in the laboratory.

"One of the greatest challenges in the treatment of cancer patients is to know which drug to prescribe," said Karp. "By isolating circulating tumor cells before and after the first round of chemotherapy is given, we can determine the biology behind why certain cells are resistant to chemotherapy. We can also use the isolated cells to screen drugs for personalized treatments that could boost effectiveness and hopefully prevent cancer relapse."


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Contact: Marjorie Montemayor-Quellenberg
mmontemayor-quellenberg@partners.org
617-534-2208
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Source:Eurekalert  

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