We propose to use an antibody-coated microfluidic surface-capture device, the Herringbone CTC-chip, to isolate hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) circulating tumor cells (CTCs) from venous blood. Successful isolation of these cells from the venous blood of HCC patients has the potential to substantially improve current medical practice by enabling early detection and monitoring of therapy in HCC patients. Survival from HCC is entirely dependent on early detection whether its detection of the primary tumor or recurrence after treatment. Screening, early diagnosis and detection of recurrence have been formidable challenges and despite massive worldwide research efforts, the five-year survival rate of HCC patients remains to be poor. We propose to develop and optimize the CTC-chip for HCC CTC isolation (Aim 1). We will then determine the diagnostic accuracy of the CTC analysis compared to biopsy evaluation of unknown liver masses (Aim 2). The critical value of Aim 2 is to determine the sensitivity and the specificity of the technology to detect HCC CTCs in patients with cancer (n=40) and without cancer (n=40).

Public Health Relevance

Detection and enrichment of rare tumor cells from whole blood using a micro-chip technology is a groundbreaking achievement in clinical medicine and is already paving the way for personalized medicine. These cells are powerful indicators of tumor burden. We propose to develop and optimize the micro-chip technology to capture liver cancer circulating tumor cells to demonstrate its feasibility and utility in diagnosis.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Small Research Grants (R03)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1)
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Rinaudo, Jo Ann S
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Massachusetts General Hospital
United States
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Hesketh, Richard L; Zhu, Andrew X; Oklu, Rahmi (2015) Hepatocellular carcinoma: can circulating tumor cells and radiogenomics deliver personalized care? Am J Clin Oncol 38:431-6
Deipolyi, Amy R; Iafrate, A John; Zhu, Andrew X et al. (2014) High lung shunt fraction in colorectal liver tumors is associated with distant metastasis and decreased survival. J Vasc Interv Radiol 25:1604-8