Better CTC Capture Method Could Help Track Cancer Treatment Progress

Tumor cells that circulate freely in blood vessels have been deemed as potential indications of cancer being spread to other parts of the body for a very long time. The fact is, however, that most free-floating cancer cells in blood vessels do not lead to the formation of a new tumor. But according to a new research, if these free-floating tumors are accurately counted, they can prove to be beneficial for tracking the treatment in a more effective manner and help in the better screening of the disease.

Seungpyo Hong and his team from the University of Wisconsin-Madison have built the research on several years of research revolving these cast-off tumor cells, also called circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and have demonstrated improved ways of capturing them in clinical samples for the first time ever. The researchers proceeded by slowing down cancer cells and developed cancer-specific antibodies strong enough to trap CTCs. This allowed researchers to identify vast numbers of free-floating tumors in cancer patients that were undergoing radiation therapy.

Researchers found out that the number of free-floating tumor cells in the blood vessels reduced during the therapy and increased again in the patients that were found to need additional treatment. This suggests that the technology can work as a supplementary technique with other techniques for supervising the progress of the treatment.

The detailed study has been published in the scientific journal Clinical Cancer Research. The research also saw collaboration from researchers across the South Korea’s Yonsei University, University of Illinois, Chicago, and Duke University. The research was, in part, funded by the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health.

EMBL Collaborates with Enamine for Research on Cancer Treatment

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) and Enamine, have collaborated to develop novel small molecules which works against anti-cancer targets. As per the terms of this collaboration, Enamine is providing medicinal chemistry, library synthesis, and biological services to EMBL for their cause and together they expect to focus on creating new cancer therapeutics and novel modes of action. The collaboration comprises the deployment of medicinal chemists who are Full Time Equivalent (FTE), at Enamine.

 Millions of Compounds Needed to Up Chemical Diversity at Screening Decks

For many years, the EMBL has been working with Enamine to improve the chemical space of their screening library, stated the Head of Chemical Biology Core Facility at EMBL, Joe Lewis. With the realization that above 2 mn collection of compounds can provide quality compounds, there is a need for increasing the chemical diversity of their screening deck. Thus, Enamine was chosen to outsource for their medicinal chemistry discovery program, as the company can help in the field of drug development and chemical biology.

Integration of Chemistry and Biology Service Portfolio

As per David Will, the Head of Medicinal Chemistry at EMBL, the collaboration with Enamine will help their project’s goal of identifying the targets from phenotypic screens, and then synthesizing and triaging patentable preclinical compounds that are new. The access to the world’s largest collection of building blocks at Enamine will go a long way in developing a preclinical compound. The integration of chemistry and biology service portfolio is apt for this kind of research.

“Our collaboration with EMBL illustrates our established engagement with non-profit academic research institutions and disease foundations in their search for strong and committed partners in the most challenging discovery research projects. We look forward to our continued successful work with EMBL”, concluded Michael Bossert, Head Strategic Alliances at Enamine.