Italian pharmaceutical, biotechnology and diagnostics company The Menarini Group's US subsidiary Menarini-Silicon Biosystems has reported the positive role played by its DEPArray single-cell isolation technology in a study conducted by The University of Manchester researchers.
The DEPArray is an image-based cell-sorting and isolation platform to deliver pure cells enabling researchers and clinicians to conduct molecular analyses on live or fixed cells with single-cell precision.
The technology has been developed to aid the development of precision medicine for disease prevention and treatment that takes into account each person's genetic variability.
It has the ability to isolate and recover individual cells or groups of tumour cells, from tissue samples, as well as cells samples from blood, urine or other body fluid.
The technology was used in the study to develop a model to determine whether small-cell lung cancer patients will be sensitive or resistant to initial chemotherapy treatment.
Lead researcher Caroline Dive said: "Lung cancer has been poorly studied compared to other cancer types due to the challenges in collecting tumour biopsies for genetic analysis.
"Our study shows that, starting from a simple blood sample, it is possible to enrich and then isolate individual circulating cancer cells (CTCs) from patients using the CellSearch system followed by the DEPArray technology.
"This workflow enables the genetic analysis of CTCs with precision and purity and allowed us to anticipate how well and for how long small cell lung cancer patients may respond to chemotherapy."
The DEPArray technology is particularly instrumental for liquid biopsy by virtue of its ability to precisely isolate and subsequent genetic analysis of CTCs found in the blood.
These tumour cells are considered to store necessary information to understand a cancer's genetic mutations in order to identify molecular targets for personalised therapies.