Using patient-derived circulating tumor cell (CTC) cultures obtained from blood-drawn liquid biopsies, a team led by investigators at the Singapore–Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance for Research and Technology Centre has developed a new approach to assess the effectiveness of cancer treatment within 2 weeks (Khoo BL et al. Sci Adv. 2016;2:e1600274).
The technique uses a microfluidic assay integrated with 2 components: custom-designed tapered microwells for cutting and a gradient generator to carry out drug screening. Cultures are maintained as multilayered clusters to better reflect the in vivo state of a tumor.
Hampton T. Liquid Biopsy to Evaluate Efficacy of Cancer Therapy. JAMA. 2016;316(9):917. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.12068