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New diagnostic chip able to generate single-cell molecular 'fingerprints' for brain tumors
Date:8/3/2010

New technologies for the diagnosis of cancer are rapidly changing the clinical practice of oncology. As scientists learn more about the molecular basis of cancer, the development of new tools capable of multiple, inexpensive biomarker measurements on small samples of clinical tissue will become essential to the success of genetically informed and personalized cancer therapies.

Researchers at UCLA have now developed a microfluidic image cytometry (MIC) platform that can measure cell-signaling pathways in brain tumor samples at the single-cell level. The new technology combines the advantages of microfluidics and microscopy-based cell imaging.

The ability to make these in vitro molecular measurements, or "fingerprints," marks a new advance in molecular diagnostics that could ultimately help physicians predict patient prognosis and guide personalized treatment.

"The MIC is essentially a cancer diagnostic chip that can generate single-cell 'molecular fingerprints' for a small quantity of pathology samples, including brain tumor tissues," said Dr. Hsian-Rong Tseng, a UCLA associate professor of molecular and medical pharmacology and one of the leaders of the research. "We are exploring the use of the MIC for generating informative molecular fingerprints from rare populations of oncology samples for example, tumor stem cells."

The research, which appears in the Aug. 1 issue of the journal Cancer Research, represents the teamwork of 35 co-authors from UCLA's Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center with expertise in surgery, pathology, cancer biology, bioinformatics and diagnostic devices.

Led by Tseng and Thomas Graeber, an assistant professor of molecular and medical pharmacology, both of whom are researchers at the Crump Institute for Molecular Imaging at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI) at UCLA, the team analyzed a panel of 19 human brain tumor biopsi
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Contact: Jennifer Marcus
jmarcus@cnsi.ucla.edu
310-267-4839
University of California - Los Angeles
Source:Eurekalert

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