Shed by tumors into the circulation, Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) offer a window into cancer biology. However, the capture of CTCs from blood is not easy as CTCs are relatively scarce, with concentrations as low as 1-10 CTCs/mL of whole blood, against a background of millions of white blood cells and billions of red blood cells.
The Vortex technology makes this simple, automating the capture and collection of clinically relevant, viable CTCs directly from whole blood.
Dino Di Carlo, co-inventor of the Vortex Technology of Vortex Biosciences, describes how the Vortex Technology works and the incredible value it provides to cancer research and diagnosis.
High speed video shows the amazing Vortex technology capturing CTCs.
Clinicians continue to rely on invasive tissue biopsies as a means to assess a patient’s disease and prescribe appropriate treatment regimens. Not only is this risky and expensive, it limits the understanding of disease. Cells are extracted from a single location in a single tumor. Cancer is known to be heterogeneous so it is likely this does not provide a complete understanding of the patient’s disease. Furthermore, as a patient undergoes treatment, the opportunity to monitor cancer status and adjust treatment is not available.
Collecting tumor cells from circulation results in a more representative sample that can be collected frequently allowing for ongoing monitoring of the disease. The potential of this is tremendous and the Vortex technology finally allows CTCs to realize their full potential.