Harvard University and Namocell Collaborate to Study Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)
Mountain View, Calif., December 15, 2016 – Namocell announced today a collaboration with the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) Cancer Center on circulating tumor cell (CTC) research. The collaboration focuses on work being done in the laboratories of Dr. Daniel Haber, Kurt J. Isselbacher Professor of Oncology at Harvard Medical School and Director, MGH Cancer Center, Dr. Shyamala Maheswaran, Associate Professor of Surgery, and Dr. Mehmet Toner, Director of the Laboratory for Engineering in Medicine. Dr. Haber’s team will use Namocell’s Namo Single Cell Dispenser to identify and isolate individual CTCs for molecular analysis.
CTCs are cancer cells released from primary tumors or metastatic sites into the bloodstream. They contribute to cancer metastasis in carcinomas such as breast, prostate, colorectal, lung, and pancreatic cancer. CTCs provide a wealth of information about the state of a patient’s cancer. Molecular analysis of these cells will provide a promising way to monitor tumor relapse, track tumor’s response to targeted therapies, and detect drug resistance. The MGH team has a long track record of research on cancer genetics, including the identification of EGFR gene mutations that confer dramatic sensitivity to targeted inhibitors and the development of advanced microfluidic devices that enable sophisticated analysis of minute amounts of biological specimens. The CTC-iChip makes it possible to isolate viable CTCs from patient-derived blood samples and has already revealed heterogeneity that could impact the treatment of drug resistance in cancer patients.
Namocell will work with the MGH team to isolate CTCs and CTC clusters from cancer patient blood samples. Its Namo Single Cell Dispenser provides a simple and user-friendly platform to sort and capture each individual cell.
“We are excited to collaborate with Drs. Haber, Maheswaran, Toner and their outstanding team at MGH with their groundbreaking CTC research, which offers considerable promise for deeper characterization of metastatic cancer cells that are collected noninvasively from the blood,” said Dr. Junyu Lin, CEO of Namocell. “We have developed patented microfluidic technology to sort and capture each individual cell to enable the study of individual CTCs in great depth and with ease. Our Namo Single Cell Dispenser complements the CTC-iChip invented at MGH to investigate CTC behavior and cancer treatment response.”
“We will test the abilty of Namocell’s single cell dispenser as a platform to rapidly collect rare populations of cells such as circulating tumor cells without compromising viability,” said Dr. Maheswaran. “Such an application would allow for downstream analytics including genomic and transcriptomic evaluation of single cells as well as ex vivo culture of individual cells.”
Namocell is a leading provider of single cell technology based in the Silicon Valley. The company is focused on the development, production and distribution of high performance and cost-effective microfluidic-based single cell sorting and capturing platforms for life science research and clinical applications, such as cancer diagnostics, cancer immunotherapy, and single cell genomics.