Multispectral Imaging Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells in Negatively Enriched Peripheral Blood Samples.

Miller B, Lustberg M, Summers TA, Chalmers JJ
Methods Mol Biol 1634 219-234 01/01/2017


A variety of biomarkers are present on cells in peripheral blood of patients with a variety of disorders, including solid tumor malignancies. While rare, characterization of these cells for specific protein levels with the advanced technology proposed, will lead to future validation studies of blood samples as "liquid biopsies" for the evaluation of disease status and therapeutic response. While circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been isolated in the blood samples of patients with solid tumors, the exact role of CTCs as clinically useful predictive markers is still debated. Current commercial technology has significant bias in that a positive selection technology is used that preassumes specific cell surface markers (such as EpCAM) are present on CTCs. However, CTCs with low EpCAM expression have been experimentally demonstrated to be more likely to be missed by this method. In contrast, this application uses a previously developed, technology that performs a purely negative enrichment methodology on peripheral blood, yielding highly enriched blood samples that contain CTCs as well as other, undefined cell types. The focus of this contribution is the use of multispectral imaging of epifluorescent, microscopic images of these enriched cells in order to help develop clinically relevant liquid biopsies from peripheral blood samples.

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