The Parsortix liquid biopsy system by Angle plc, Guildford, UK, has been the subject of recently published collaborative research led by Nicola Aceto, PhD, at the cancer metastasis laboratory of the University of Basel.

Using the Parsortix system with a simple blood test, the researchers determined that they were able to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in human glioblastoma, and that the cells could be analyzed to provide molecular characterization of the cancer.

Until now, it has been hypothesized that clusters of CTCs in brain cancers would generally not pass through the blood-brain barrier. The Basel researchers have now shown that both singular CTCs and clusters of CTCs can pass through the blood-brain barrier and can be harvested for analysis using the Parsortix system. CTC clusters are known to be highly efficient metastatic precursors, and are consequently of particular medical interest.


Andrew Newland, Angle.

The authors state that their work “provides the first evidence that circulating glioblastoma clusters can overcome the blood-brain barrier and reach the peripheral circulation.”

“The glioblastoma work is a further example of groundbreaking research being undertaken by a Parsortix customer, in addition to Angle’s own efforts to commercialize the Parsortix system,” says Andrew Newland, Angle founder and CEO. “University of Basel and their collaborators are working on the application of this approach for the treatment of glioblastoma patients, and we look forward to reporting further developments in due course.”

For further information, visit Angle.


  1. Krol I, Castro-Giner F, Maurer M, et al. Detection of circulating tumor cell clusters in human glioblastoma. Br J Cancer. 2018;119(4):487–491; doi: 10.1038/s41416-018-0186-7.

Featured image: The Parsortix PC1 instrument by Angle plc.