CytoLumina Technologies Corp. is a leader in using circulating tumor cells (CTC) to enable personalized cancer care. The separation and analysis of CTCs from patient blood samples provide a means of understanding tumors across disease sites, including the primary tumor and metastases. CytoLumina established the unique concept of CytoTrapNano™ cell-affinity substrates in which nanostructured substrates are coated with a cell capture agent that targets a specific type of cancer cell. When coupled with a microfluidic chaotic mixer, the system is able to isolate CTCs from a patient blood sample with high efficiency and accuracy.
Although tissue biopsies are the gold standard for gaining access to tumor cells, serial biopsies are avoided for fear of complications from the procedure. In addition, biopsies can be unobtainable for certain tumor locations or where metastatic tissue biopsies are problematic. The use of CTCs reduces these difficulties, enabling the monitoring of cancer progression and allowing an understanding of the pathogenic mechanisms driving lethal disease and the dynamics of the evolving tumor biology. By enabling frequent monitoring, CTCs can guide the implementation of the most effective treatment interventions and re-strategizing upon the emergence of resistance.