Since chemotherapy agents must be selectively chosen to target each person’s unique type of tumor, biopsies are performed and sent to the pathology lab for genotyping. Researchers at Singapore’s A*STAR Agency for Science, Technology and Research have created a “liquid biopsy” that requires only a blood draw to identify the type of colorectal tumor present in a patient. The technology is still in the development stage but it may prove to be a new and easy way of identifying and monitoring tumors.
The new method relies on capturing circulating tumor cells (CTCs) usin a silicon microsieve with 90,000 tiny pores. The size of the pores is carefully selected to let normal cells through while trapping the larger CTCs. The team also developed assays that identify whether the trapped CTCs have the KRAS or BRAF mutations of colorectal cancer.
The assays were tested on 44 colorectal cancer patients who underwent surgery at Fortis Surgical Hospital, and the results revealed that the liquid biopsy was highly accurate in detecting KRAS and BRAF mutations in blood.
IBN’s liquid biopsy invention can be targeted for colorectal cancer as well as other types of cancer. The microsieve technology was licensed to CellSievo Pte Ltd, a spin-off company from IBN, in August 2011 for commercialization. The latest non-invasive genetic test was licensed to AITbiotech Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based biotechnology company, in January this year for development into a ready-to-use test kit. AITbiotech provides molecular diagnostics and genomic services to hospitals and research laboratories.
Study in Molecular Oncology: Non-invasive sensitive detection of KRAS and BRAF mutation in circulating tumor cells of colorectal cancer patients…