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Nanoparticles may enhance circulating tumor cell detection
Date:2/11/2011

Upon laser illumination, the particles display a sharp fingerprint-like pattern that is specific to the dye, because the gold enhances the signal coming from the dyes. This suggests that several types of nanoparticles could be combined to gain more information about the growth characteristics of the tumor cells. In addition, measuring CTC levels may be sensitive enough to distinguish patients with localized disease from those with metastatic disease.

Nanoparticles could be instrumental in modifying the process so that circulating tumor cells can be detected without separating the tumor cells from normal blood cells, Nie says. Weve demonstrated that one tumor cell out of approximately one to ten million normal cells can be detected this way.

In collaboration with oncologists at Winship Cancer Institute, researchers used nanoparticles to test for CTCs in blood samples from 19 patients with head and neck cancer. Of these patients, 17 had positive signals for CTCs in their blood. The two with low signals were verified to have no circulating cells by a different technique.

Although the results have not been compared or validated with current CTC detection methods, our one-tube SERS technology could be faster and lower in costs than other detection methods, says Dong Moon Shin, MD, professor of hematology and oncology and otolaryngology, associate director of academic development for Winship Cancer Institute and director of the Winship Cancer Institute Chemoprevention Program. We need to validate this pilot study by continuing with larger groups of patients and comparing with other tests.


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Contact: Holly Korschun
hkorsch@emory.edu
404-727-3990
Emory University
Source:Eurekalert

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