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News, Calendars, and Events » Calendars » Master Calendar » Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Department of
Seminar Series: Dr. Richard Cote
Schedule information
Event Seminar Series: Dr. Richard Cote
When Tuesday, February 12, 2013 from 12:00pm to 1:00pm
Where Basic Science Building 341 (Library)
Event details
Details 'Circulating Tumor Cells: Current Progress and Future Potential'

Dr. Richard Cote
Chair and Professor,
Department of Pathology
University of Miami

Abstract: The presence or absence of metastasis is the most important determinant of prognosis and management of cancer. Spread of circulating tumor cells (CTC) via the peripheral blood is shown to be prognostic indicator of later overt metastases. Many clinical trials in the early and metastatic cancer setting now include CTCs as a monitoring parameter, and numerous translational studies are attempting their molecular characterization.

The available approaches for enriching the rare CTC and their detection largely depend on the affinity capture of the CTC using antibodies against the epithelial cell adhesion molecules, a feature which can be exploited in only select malignancies. CTC capture efficiency is directly impacted by the variability in marker expression, thus limiting clinical utility of CTC as biomarkers due to difficulties with sensitivity, specificity, efficiency, and high costs. We have developed a unique precisely engineered microfilter platform that effectively separates larger CTC from smaller blood cells, and have shown it to be superior in sensitivity and efficiency to the FDA-approved immunoaffinity-based magnetic separation assay, both in model systems and clinical sample analyses. Further, we have modified the microfilter geometry to enable viable CTC capture. These various technological platforms will be described.

Since approaches that allow culture of the CTC upon isolation are nearly non-existent, we are forced to study a finite, small number of CTC captured at static time points to yield limited cellular and molecular data, precluding our ability to study CTC dynamically for their functional aspects. Along with our collaborators at Georgetown University Medical Center, we have developed a novel method for tumor cell culture, which we refer to as conditionally reprogrammed cell (CRC) system, using a ROCK-inhibitor-treated feeder layer. We aim to develop the CRC technology to efficiently and reliably grow circulating tumor cells such that phenotypic and genetic fidelity to the tumor of origin is maintained. We also will employ viable CTC from clinical samples to predict response to drugs in actual patients.

This research endeavor has a potential to be transformative in the way we evaluate and manage patients with cancer, while also leading to an important and necessary insight into metastatic process that the present cancer model systems cannot provide. It is likely that we will see a wider implementation of CTCs as a diagnostic oncology tool as well as to monitor therapeutic response in real time.
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Contact Juanita Chipani Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology office, x71512
Sponsors Department of Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology
Calendar Biochemistry and Molecular & Cellular Biology, Department of
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