Stanford University and Fluxion Biosciences have completed the first pilot study isolating circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from early non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.

CTCs disseminate from primary tumors and circulate in the peripheral blood, leading to the growth of tumors elsewhere in the body. Because of their low concentration, they are difficult to retrieve for molecular analysis. Fluxion’s IsoFlux System enables scientists to collect these specimens from a standard blood draw, providing improved sensitivity in a low-volume format also optimized for analytical platforms.

The study compared CTC levels in healthy controls, early-stage, and advanced-stage NSCLC patients and found that gross tumor volume positively correlated with CTC count (p = 0.04). In addition, none of the controls exceeded 5 CTCs, wheras 73% of early-stage patients did. The results were presented at the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) 2013 Annual Meeting.

“This data is very exciting and validates the high sensitivity CTC recovery technology that the IsoFlux System was built around. The platform enables the use of molecular profiling tools earlier in the disease progression and without invasive procedures,” said Cristian Ionescu-Zanetti, Fluxion’s chief technology officer.

For more information, visit Fluxion Biosciences.