Fluid biopsy in patients with metastatic prostate, pancreatic and breast cancers

Dena Marrinucci, Kelly Bethel, Anand Kolatkar, Madelyn S. Luttgen, Michael Malchiodi, Franziska Baehring, Katharina Voigt, Daniel Lazar, Jorge Nieva, Lyudmila Bazhenova, Andrew H. Ko, W. Michael Korn, Ethan Schram, Michael Coward, Xing Yang, Thomas Metzner, Rachelle Lamy, Meghana Honnatti, Craig Yoshioka, Joshua KunkenYelena Petrova, Devin Sok, David Nelson, Peter Kuhn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

230 Scopus citations


Hematologic spread of carcinoma results in incurable metastasis; yet, the basic characteristics and travel mechanisms of cancer cells in the bloodstream are unknown. We have established a fluid phase biopsy approach that identifies circulating tumor cells (CTCs) without using surface protein-based enrichment and presents them in sufficiently high definition (HD) to satisfy diagnostic pathology image quality requirements. This 'HD-CTC' assay finds >5 HD-CTCs mL -1 of blood in 80% of patients with metastatic prostate cancer (n = 20), in 70% of patients with metastatic breast cancer (n = 30), in 50% of patients with metastatic pancreatic cancer (n = 18), and in 0% of normal controls (n = 15). Additionally, it finds HD-CTC clusters ranging from 2 HD-CTCs to greater than 30 HD-CTCs in the majority of these cancer patients. This initial validation of an enrichment-free assay demonstrates our ability to identify significant numbers of HD-CTCs in a majority of patients with prostate, breast and pancreatic cancers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number016003
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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