Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Sensitive detection of circulating tumor cells

Cirulating tumor cells are the prime things that detach from the solid tumor and reach the other parts of the body such as lungs, liver, spleen etc. Such a cancer state is called Metastasis which is an advanced state of the cancer. Some cancers like pancreatic cancer develop symptoms at this late stage. Hence the treatment is difficult and the patient survival rate is very low while the mortality rate is 85% (According to American cancer society statistics, 2013).

There is a clear need for the identification of these cells in the blood circulation so that the initiation of treatment methods to the patients will be easy for physicians. Currently we have several microfluidic based detection systems where these microfluidic chips will collect the cells and filter them. These cells will be cultured and identified. It is a very long and time consuming process. For a better detection system for identifying these circulating tumor cells, the device should be simple, sensitive and cost effective.

The recent paper published in Nature nanotechnology on 29 september 2013 developed a sensitive detection method to identify these circulating tumor cells. The authors/researchers from University of Michigan used the graphene oxide as the detection material for detecting the circulating tumor cells. The paper is very interesting and it mentioned the sensitivity of the fabricated device in detecting the circulating tumor cells such as PC-3, pancreatic cancer cells, MCF-7 and HS578T breast cancer cells.

The complete article will be obtained from