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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, …
Contributors MBF and DVF carried out wet lab experiments. AMF, AR and AGN carried out histopathology assessment. EL conceived and managed the study and also performed statistical analysis. All coauthors contributed into manuscript preparation.
Funding The project was funded by The Peter and Mary Fu Foundation, Point Hope Group, STEMCELL Technologies, Affymetrix and supported by the National Institute of Health Research Respiratory Disease Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust and Imperial College London.
Competing interests None declared.
Patient consent Obtained.
Ethics approval National Institute of Health Research Respiratory Disease Biomedical Research Unit at the Royal Brompton and Harefield NHS Foundation Trust.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.