New Technology Can Detect Circulating Colon Cancer Cells In Less Than an Hour Interview with:
Dr. Elodie Sollier PhD
Chief Scientific Officer at Vortex Biosciences What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Vortex Biosciences has developed a fast and simple way to isolate and collect intact circulating tumor cells (CTCs) directly from whole blood in less than an hour using a process based on microfluidics. To better understand the utility of the technology for the clinical setting, PCR-based Sanger sequencing was used to profile the mutations of CTCs isolated from blood from metastatic Colorectal cancer patients. The mutations were compared to primary tumor biopsies, secondary tumor biopsies and ctDNA. There are 3 primary take-aways:

  1. The Vortex technology captures CTCs with enough purity to perform sensitive and accurate PCR-based Sanger sequencing.
  2. Mutations present in primary and secondary tumors can be identified in both CTCs and ctDNA making liquid biopsies a valuable alternative to tissue biopsies.
  3. While there is general consistency of mutations identified, some mutations are only identified in CTCs while others only in ctDNA demonstrating how these are indeed complimentary. What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Response: There are 3 main findings that are important to both patients and clinicians:

  1. ~82% of metastatic colorectal patients were positive for circulating tumor cells meaning they can be detected and enriched for most cancer patients.
  2. CTCs and ctDNA are complementary and both may reveal disease progression or recurrence earlier than imaging and seem more reliable than CEA marker (more experiments needed).
  3. CTC molecular analysis may give additional information and will potentially help promote the development of tailored therapies for every individual patient. What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Response: Current Whole Genome Amplification (WGA) methods perform well on fresh cells but have variable bias on fixed cells (data not shown). Evaluating the potential for both WGA and NGS (Next-Generation Sequencing) – including target sequencing and whole genome sequencing – on fresh circulating tumor cells will offer new methods for molecular characterization with more sensitivity. Is there anything else you would like to add?

Response: There is the potential for the molecular characterization of CTCs to replace tissue biopsies. In order to achieve this, a technology will need to be able to capture intact CTCs with high purity to allow for accurate and reproducible downstream assays. The Vortex technology represents a viable path to achieving this. Thank you for your contribution to the community.

Citation: Abstract presented at the 2016 AACR meeting

Enumeration and mutational profiling of CTCs and comparison to ctDNA and colorectal cancer liver metastases

Evelyn Kidess-Sigal1, Haiyan E. Liu2, Melanie Triboulet1, James Che3, Georges A. Poultsides1, Brendan C. Visser1, Andre Marziali4, Marc Lee4, Valentina Vysotskaia4, Matthew Wiggin4, Vishnu C. Ramani1, Ulrich Keilholz5, Ingeborg Tinhofer5, Amin Zia6, John Coller6, Jeffrey A. Norton1, Elodie Sollier2, Stefanie S. Jeffrey1.1Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA; 2Vortex Biosciences Inc, Menlo Park, CA; 3UCLA Bioengineering, Los Angeles, CA; 4Boreal Genomics, Vancouver, BC, Canada; 5Charite University Hospital, Berlin, Germany;6Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Note: Content is Not intended as medical advice. Please consult your health care provider regarding your specific medical condition and questions.

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