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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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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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