Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments
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Testing Arterial Blood Rather Than Venous Blood for Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Proves a More Accurate Indicator of Cancer

Testing Arterial Blood Rather Than Venous Blood for Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) Proves a More Accurate Indicator of Cancer | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Although it is more technically difficult to collect blood from an artery than a vein, this and other research suggests that checking arterial blood may be a more accurate way of assessing circulating tumor number, and therefore metastatic disease.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Testing for circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been approved for diagnostic purposes in metastatic breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer. However CTCs are not always found in the blood of patients with aggressive disease.

Researchers at Thomas Jefferson University investigating uveal melanoma, a type of melanoma that originates in the eye, have shown that the low CTC numbers could simply be explained by where the blood is drawn - whether from a vein or an artery.

CTCs are larger than other blood cells and have different characteristics from normal blood cells. Therefore, CTCs can be detectable in blood samples with modern technology. Most commonly, blood samples are obtained from a patient's vein, which has already passed through an intricate sieve of narrow capillaries throughout the body before draining to the veins.

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Metastasis Stem Cells Discovered in Blood of Breast Cancer Patients

Metastasis Stem Cells Discovered in Blood of Breast Cancer Patients | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg have been the first to detect cancer cells in the blood of breast cancer patients that can initiate metastasis.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

Cancer cells that can initiate metastasis have been analyzed by scientists in Germany, as having properties of cancer stem cells with three surface proteins. These circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that break away from the original tumor and circulate through the blood stream are considered responsible for the development of metastases. However, up until now, experimental evidence was lacking as to whether “stem cells” that lead to metastases can be found among CTCs. This explains why many patients do not develop metastases even though they have cancer cells circulating through their blood.

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New Method to Detect Circulating Tumor Cells

New Method to Detect Circulating Tumor Cells | Cancer - Advances, Knowledge, Integrative & Holistic Treatments | Scoop.it
Cancerous tumors can shed cells that travel through the blood stream and create new cancerous growths.
Graham Player Ph.D.'s insight:

A new method of detecting circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is being devised by Stanford scientists. A team of engineers, scientists and doctors from Stanford is developing a mini-microscope that might be able to non-invasively detect the CTCs earlier than ever, allowing for earlier interventions.

CTCs travel the body and can take root nearly anywhere; growing into a new cancer threat even after the initial cancer is treated. The principle of the device is that a patient would be injected with a dye that will cause the CTCs to fluoresce. A pen-size microscope would then focus a low-power laser light on a blood vessel just below the patient's skin. This involves simply touching the microscope on the skin allowing penetration of the low-power laser light. As the dyed cancer cells pass through the laser, the light excites them and causes them to stand out from normal cells. The CTCs can then be counted and assessed.

Proof-of-principle testing is expected to begin soon.

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