About 10 cancer cells is the maximum a research can capture from the bloodstream using the existing methods. This prevents researchers from studying cancer cells real-time. To solve this, scientists have developed a prototype wearable device which can monitor cancer cell in blood consistently. This is important as tumors are capable of releasing nearly 1,000 cancer cells in the blood.
In order to learn more about the tumor’s biology, it is important to find ways to obtain enough cancer cell. Collecting cancer cells without the need for biopsy will help researchers and doctors in effective diagnosis and treatment.
Researchers to Collect Samples Directly from Vein
According to research, cancer cells do not survive in the bloodstream. Those that do, are bound to create tumors. These tumors, called metastases, are more deadly than the original cancer cell. Therefore, cancer cells obtained directly from the blood will offer a better opportunity to study the biology of these cells. Instead of performing a biopsy, researchers are looking at ways to obtain the cells directly from the vein.
As a result, researchers at the University of Michigan have developed an innovative wearable device. This device collects cancer cells directly from the bloodstream of the subject. This device gathers the live tumor cells from the vein directly, and this process occurs over several hours. Animals are the test subjects for the new device at present. In the animal-based test, the device collected more than 3.5 times as many cancer cells per milliliter of blood.
Single-Device, with Self-Sterilizing Feature
The device easily fits on the wrist and the system integrates all its components on a single device. There is no clotting, and sterility of the device is maintained using heparin.
According to the scientists, the device will be ready for testing on humans in a few years. The wearable will help ensure an optimum treatment for cancer diagnosis and therapy. The industry of precision medicine is likely to see traction due to the introduction of this device in the coming years.