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Cancers 2019, 11(1), 89; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers11010089

Capture of Circulating Tumour Cell Clusters Using Straight Microfluidic Chips

1
The School of Biomedical Sciences, Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation, Queensland University of Technology, Kelvin Grove, QLD 4059, Australia
2
Translational Research Institute, Brisbane, QLD 4102, Australia
3
Department of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL 60607, USA
4
University of Illinois Cancer Center, Chicago, IL 60612, USA
5
School of Medicine, University of Queensland, QLD 4029, Australia
6
Central Integrated Regional Cancer Services, Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Queensland Health, QLD 4029, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 December 2018 / Revised: 7 January 2019 / Accepted: 8 January 2019 / Published: 14 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Liquid Biopsy for Cancer)
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Abstract

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are the metastatic precursors to distant disease in head and neck cancers (HNCs). Whilst the prognostic and predictive value of single CTCs have been well documented, the role of CTC clusters, which potentially have a higher metastatic capacity are limited. In this study, the authors used a novel straight microfluidic chip to focus and capture CTCs. The chip offers high cell recoveries with clinically relevant numbers (10–500 cells/mL) without the need for further purification. Single CTCs were identified in 10/21 patient samples (range 2–24 CTCs/mL), CTC clusters in 9/21 patient samples (range 1–6 CTC clusters/mL) and circulating tumour microemboli (CTM) in 2/21 samples. This study demonstrated that CTC clusters contain EGFR amplified single CTCs within the cluster volume. This novel microfluidic chip demonstrates the efficient sorting and preservation of single CTCs, CTC clusters and CTMs. The authors intend to expand this study to a larger cohort to determine the clinical implication of the CTC subsets in HNC. View Full-Text
Keywords: circulating tumour cells (CTCs); CTC clusters; circulating tumour microemboli; head and neck cancers; microfluidic technology circulating tumour cells (CTCs); CTC clusters; circulating tumour microemboli; head and neck cancers; microfluidic technology
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Kulasinghe, A.; Zhou, J.; Kenny, L.; Papautsky, I.; Punyadeera, C. Capture of Circulating Tumour Cell Clusters Using Straight Microfluidic Chips. Cancers 2019, 11, 89.

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