Phenotyping CTCs to monitor cancer dynamics
Laboratorio Ibérico Internacional de Nanotecnología, Portugal
Metastasis is responsible for 90 % of the annual 9.6 million cancer-related deaths worldwide. This is due to the fact that early cancer dissemination goes often undetected with existing technologies, as well as inability to regularly perform tissue biopsies to confirm cancer subtypes, and ineffectiveness of drugs effective in 75 % of cases.
This project proposes a non-invasive patient monitoring using an innovative technology for liquid biopsy that automatically isolates and classifies cancer cells that are in circulation. These circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are responsible for the metastasis process, and their analysis will provide real-time information about cancer progression, enabling the prediction of disease aggressiveness and resistance to therapy.
This technology will not only facilitate more frequent patient monitoring and stratification and earlier and more precise diagnosis, it will also enable successful personalized medicine, and decrease an estimated 40 % of the costs for the public healthcare system.