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Lab Reports
September 3, 2014

Circulating Tumor Cells May Reveal Changes in Cancer Drug Susceptibility

JAMA. 2014;312(9):882. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11281

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that were isolated from patients’ blood, expanded in the laboratory, and screened for alterations in 1000 cancer-associated genes revealed both preexisting and newly acquired mutations, researchers report (Yu M et al. Science. 2014;345[6193]:216-220).

The team, led by researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, used a technology called the CTC-iChip, which depletes normal blood cells, leaving behind CTCs. The scientists established long-lived cell lines from CTCs isolated from the blood of 6 patients with metastatic, estrogen receptor–positive breast cancer. Subsequent samples from 3 of these patients were used to create additional cell lines to track how the tumors changed during treatment.

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