Microfluidic & Rare Cells

 

The detection and analyses of blood circulating tumour biomarkers are rapidly changing the diagnostic and therapeutic landscape. While circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) presents a number of technological and procedural advantages over circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in view of its utilization as a diagnostic/prognostic tool, CTCs have the potential to provide more extensive information about the molecular characteristics of the disease, including clonal heterogeneity. Our hypothesis is that, to fulfill the potential of CTC as tumour biomarkers, molecularly unbiased, sensitive and high throughput CTC isolation methods are required. To this end, we are applying cutting edge microfluidic technologies (see also our collaborator Dr Majid Warkiani, UNSW) for the isolation and phenotypical analyses of CTCs, with a focus on metastatic colorectal and prostate cancer.

Our current efforts aim at integrating the isolation technologies with single cells genomics/transcriptomics methods. Patients are currently being recruited for these studies at The Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Lyell McEwin Hospital.

 CTCs