Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells

Date:
June 3, 2014
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Not all cancer cells are created equal: some stay put in the primary tumor, while others move and invade elsewhere. A major goal for cancer research is predicting which cells will metastasize, and why. A cancer research team is taking a new approach to screening for these dangerous cells, using a microfluidic device they invented that isolates only the most aggressive, metastatic cells.

Not all cancer cells are created equal: some stay put in the primary tumor, while others move and invade elsewhere. A major goal for cancer research is predicting which cells will metastasize, and why.

A Cornell cancer research team is taking a new approach to screening for these dangerous cells, using a microfluidic device they invented that isolates only the most aggressive, metastatic cells.

“The approach we’ve taken is a reverse approach from what is conventionally done,” said Cynthia Reinhart-King, associate professor of biomedical engineering and senior author of the recently published Technology Journal paper describing the research. “Instead of looking at what molecules are being expressed by the tumor, we’re looking for the phenotype – that is, the behavior – of individual cells first. Then we can determine what molecules are causing that behavior.”

Typically, searching for biomarkers of metastasis has focused on screening for certain molecules or genes expressed by large numbers of migrating cancer cells. The problem is that it’s easy to miss subtle differences in the tiny subpopulations of cells that are the most aggressive.

Taking, for example, 100 tumors and seeking out molecular biomarkers for metastasis, one particular molecule might be identified as being “upregulated” in those tumors, Reinhart-King said. But it’s not the whole tumor expressing that particular molecule – some cells express the biomarker and some do not.

The researchers decided to first sort cells with the most aggressive behavior, and analyze only them for molecular changes. Their innovation is a microfluidic device that contains side channels to wash out the less aggressive cells, while herding the more aggressive ones into a separate channel.

For their proof-of-concept, the researchers screened for cells with migratory responses to Epidermal Growth Factor, for which the receptor is known to be present in most human cancers and is tightly linked to poor prognosis.

“The thing we’re most excited about, in addition to the physical device, is the conceptual framework we’re using by trying to shift gears and screen for cells that are causing the worst parts of the disease,” Reinhart-King said. The device could also be used in other applications of tissue engineering, inflammation and wound healing.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. The original article was written by Melissa Osgood. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 3 June 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603182513.htm>.
Cornell University. (2014, June 3). New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603182513.htm
Cornell University. "New device isolates most aggressive cancer cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/06/140603182513.htm (accessed September 2, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

Get on Your Bike! London Cycling Popularity Soars Despite Danger

AFP (Sep. 1, 2014) Wedged between buses, lorries and cars, cycling in London isn't for the faint hearted. Nevertheless the number of people choosing to bike in the British capital has doubled over the past 15 years. Duration: 02:27 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Can You Train Your Brain To Eat Healthy?

Newsy (Sep. 1, 2014) New research says if you condition yourself to eat healthy foods, eventually you'll crave them instead of junk food. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

We've Got Mites Living In Our Faces And So Do You

Newsy (Aug. 30, 2014) A new study suggests 100 percent of adult humans (those over 18 years of age) have Demodex mites living in their faces. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

Liberia Continues Fight Against Ebola

AFP (Aug. 30, 2014) Authorities in Liberia try to stem the spread of the Ebola epidemic by raising awareness and setting up sanitation units for people to wash their hands. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins