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Letter to the editor
Application of RNA in situ hybridisation for identification of circulating tumour cells
  1. Maxim B Freidin1,2,
  2. Dasha V Freydina1,2,
  3. Angeles Montero Fernandez1,
  4. Alexandra Rice1,
  5. Andrew G Nicholson1,2,
  6. Eric Lim1,2
  1. 1Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust, London, UK
  2. 2National Heart and Lung Institute, Imperial College London, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Eric Lim, Royal Brompton Hospital, Sydney Street, London SW3 6NP, UK; e.lim{at}

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Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) attract a significant interest both in basic cancer research and in clinical oncology as a biomarker for diagnosis and prognosis of cancer. A number of techniques have been developed to trap and visualise CTCs.1

We postulated that antibody-independent approaches for collection of CTCs have a number of advantages, although subsequent effective visualisation of CTCs to distinguish them from surrounding white blood cells or non-cancerous epithelial cells is critical for their applicability for use in standard clinical settings.2 ,3 One potential solution is the usage of sensitive staining techniques such as recently developed ViewRNA in situ hybridisation by Affymetrix/Panomics. This approach is based on the use of specifically designed oligonucleotide probes against mRNA of genes of interest. These probes are hybridised to mRNA in fixed cells followed by binding of branched nucleic acids and fluorescent or chromogenic staining, which allow simultaneous identification of two or three targets, …

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