This week in techniques

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Publication and contact information

Assays & screens

High throughput, microfluidic platform for the isolation of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-positive and EpCAM-negative circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from blood samples

A high throughput, microfluidic platform called the CTC-iChip could help guide cancer diagnosis and prognosis. The platform separates CTCs from the blood via a series of steps involving microfluidic methods for rare cell handling and magnetic-based cell sorting. The CTC-iChip was used to isolate EpCAM-positive CTCs from the blood of patients with prostate, lung, breast, pancreatic or colorectal cancer and EpCAM-negative CTCs from the blood of patients with metastatic breast cancer, pancreatic cancer or melanoma. The CTCs were of sufficient quality that they could be characterized using immunohistochemistry, RNA molecular analysis or gene expression profiling. Next steps include adding molecular assay components to the device (see CTCs gain character(ization), page 8).

SciBX 6(17); doi:10.1038/scibx.2013.422
Published online May 2, 2013

Multiple patents covering various aspects of the technology at different stages of filing; exclusively licensed to Johnson & Johnson

Ozkumur, E. et al. Sci. Transl. Med.; published online April 3, 2013;
doi:10.1126/scitranslmed.3005616
Contact: Mehmet Toner, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass.
e-mail:
mtoner@hms.harvard.edu