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New diagnostic technology may lead to individualized treatments for prostate cancer
Date:5/28/2013

LOS ANGELES A research team jointly led by scientists from Cedars-Sinai Medical Center and the University of California, Los Angeles, have enhanced a device they developed to identify and "grab" circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, that break away from cancers and enter the blood, often leading to the spread of cancer to other parts of the body.

If more studies confirm the technology's effectiveness, the NanoVelcro Chip device could enable doctors to access and identify cancerous cells in the bloodstream, which would provide the diagnostic information needed to create individually tailored treatments for patients with prostate cancer.

The researchers believe this technology may function as a "liquid biopsy," revolutionizing conventional biopsy practices and significantly advancing the field of personalized medicine. Today's biopsies require the removal of tissue samples through a needle inserted into a solid tumor, a procedure that is invasive and sometimes painful. Biopsies are extremely difficult in metastatic prostate cancer because the disease often spreads to bone, where the availability of the tissue is low.

The biggest challenges in the treatment of cancer are that every person's tumor differs greatly and often mutates over time, especially in response to treatment. Researchers hope that by analyzing these CTCs, doctors will be able to understand the tumor evolution in each individual. By monitoring the genetic changes in CTCs and their invasiveness in a tissue culture dish, doctors may be able to quickly adjust their treatment plans in response.

"We are optimistic that the use of our NanoVelcro CTC technology will revolutionize prostate cancer treatment. We know that cancers evolve over time and that every patient's cancer is a unique problem the 'one-size-fits-all' approach is not going to allow us to cure prostate cancer or any other cancer," said Edwin M. Posadas, MD, medical director of the Urologic Oncology Prog
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Contact: Cara Lasala
Cara.lasala@cshs.org
310-423-7798
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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