Research ArticleCancer

In vivo liquid biopsy using Cytophone platform for photoacoustic detection of circulating tumor cells in patients with melanoma

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Science Translational Medicine  12 Jun 2019:
Vol. 11, Issue 496, eaat5857
DOI: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aat5857

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Zooming in on tumor cells

Circulating tumor cells in patients’ blood can offer insight into the underlying tumor and can also seed distant metastases. Thus, accurate detection of these cells could help with prediction of metastasis, as well as facilitate their elimination. Unfortunately, conventional methods of detection have limited sensitivity and can miss rare circulating tumor cells at an early, potentially treatable stage of disease. Galanzha et al. developed a photoacoustic method for use directly in patients with melanoma, allowing the researchers to detect very low numbers of circulating tumor cells in vivo, as well as destroy them with laser pulses, suggesting a therapeutic potential for this approach.

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