Menarini Silicon Biosystems, Bologna, Italy, and Huntingdon Valley, Pa, has recently presented significant advances in research using the company’s CellSearch and DepArray technologies.

Massimo Cristofanilli.

Massimo Cristofanilli.

In a study coauthored by Massimo Cristofanilli, MD, FACP, associate director for translational research at the Robert H. Lurie Cancer Center of Northwestern University, researchers used Menarini’s FDA-cleared CellSearch circulating tumor cell (CTC) technology to conduct testing on metastatic breast cancer patients. The study reported on the significant correlation between high levels of coexpression of CCR5 and HER2 in CTCs. CCR5 has been associated with cancer stem cells and is believed to drive metastatic processes. The researchers suggest that CCR5 may contribute to a more-aggressive phenotype by upregulating HER2 expression. The study results provide the first evidence identifying CCR5 expression in CTCs as a potential new marker for metastatic breast cancer with potential therapeutic implications.

“This is an exciting study, as it provides evidence of CCR5 being a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer,” notes Cristofanilli. “This observation is the basis of an upcoming clinical trial incorporating CCR5 detection and CTC expression, in which we will target CCR5 with a specific antibody in the hopes of preventing metastasis and prolonging disease control in patients with triple-negative breast cancer.”

The Northwestern researchers also presented a new application of the CellSearch and DepArray NxT systems for the isolation of CTC clusters in metastatic breast cancer. CTC clusters are reported to have greater potential to form distant metastases compared to individual CTCs. The investigators’ novel research use only workflow helped to streamline the isolation of both single CTCs and CTC clusters to facilitate genomic analysis for metastatic breast cancer patients.

“Our goal at Menarini Silicon Biosystems continues to be the improvement of patient care through innovative single-cell precision medicine technologies and solutions that provide actionable information for clinicians and researchers,” says Bob Roda, CEO of Menarini Silicon Biosystems. “Our expanding portfolio of technologies and solutions is helping researchers better understand cancers at the molecular level.”

For further information, visit Menarini Silicon Biosystems.

Featured image: The CellSearch system by Menarini Silicon Biosystems is an FDA-cleared system for the identification, isolation, and enumeration of circulating tumor cells from a simple blood test.