Researchers at UC San Diego School of Medicine have developed a molecular sensor that can spot metastatic cancer cells and measure how likely they’re to spread through the body.
“Although there are many ways to detect metastasis once it has occurred, there has been nothing available to ‘see’ or ‘measure’ the potential of a tumor cell to metastasize in the future,” said Pradipta Ghosh, MD, UC San Diego School of Medicine professor and director of the university’s Center for Network Medicine and senior author of a new study appearing in journal iScience.
The new sensors are able to detect multiple different signaling mechanisms that are related to metastasis, and when that happens the sensing molecules become fluorescent. A special imaging tool is used to detect the fluorescence, giving a direct way to know whether there’s a good deal of potential metastatic activity.
Image: A tumor cell that has acquired high metastatic potential during chemotherapy lights up with high FRET biosensor readout, whereas the cells that are sensitive to chemotherapy (and hence, low potential) stays dark.
Study in journal iScience: Single-Cell Imaging of Metastatic Potential of Cancer Cells…