Here, we validated the clinical utility of our previously developed microfluidic device, GenoCTC, which is based on bottom magnetophoresis, for the isolation of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from patient whole blood. GenoCTC allowed 90% purity, 77% separation rate, and 80% recovery of circulating tumor cells at a 90 μL/min flow rate when tested on blood spiked with epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)-positive Michigan Cancer Foundation-7 (MCF7) cells. Clinical studies were performed using blood samples from non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Varying numbers (2 to 114) of CTCs were found in each NSCLC patient, and serial assessment of CTCs showed that the CTC count correlated with the clinical progression of the disease. The applicability of GenoCTC to different cell surface biomarkers was also validated in a cholangiocarcinoma patient using anti-EPCAM, anti-vimentin, or anti-tyrosine protein kinase MET (c-MET) antibodies. After EPCAM-, vimentin-, or c-MET-positive cells were isolated, CTCs were identified and enumerated by immunocytochemistry using anti-cytokeratin 18 (CK18) and anti-CD45 antibodies. Furthermore, we checked the protein expression of PDL1 and c-MET in CTCs. A study in a cholangiocarcinoma patient showed that the number of CTCs varied depending on the biomarker used, indicating the importance of using multiple biomarkers for CTC isolation and enumeration.
- Circulating tumor cells
- Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM)
- Liquid biopsy