Tag Archives: roger lo

UCLA Researchers Further Refine ‘Nanovelcro’ Device to Grab Single Cancer Cells from Blood

Improvement enables ‘liquid biopsies’ for metastatic melanoma

Researchers at UCLA report that they have refined a method they previously developed for capturing and analyzing cancer cells that break away from patients’ tumors and circulate in the blood. With the improvements to their device, which uses a Velcro-like nanoscale technology, they can now detect and isolate single cancer cells from patient blood samples for analysis.

Circulating tumor cells, or CTCs, play a crucial role in cancer metastasis, spreading from tumors to other parts of the body, where they form new tumors. When these cells are isolated from the blood early on, they can provide doctors with critical information about the type of cancer a patient has, the characteristics of the individual cancer and the potential progression of the disease. Doctors can also tell from these cells how to tailor a personalized treatment to a specific patient. (more…)

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Roadblocking Cancer: How Combo Therapies Can Overcome Drug Resistance in Melanoma

About 50 to 60 percent of patients with melanoma have a mutation in the BRAF gene that drives the growth of their cancer. In clinical trials, most of these patients have responded remarkably well to two novel agents that inhibit the gene, but unfortunately, the response is almost always limited in duration, as the cancer develops a resistance to the drugs.

In a study published Aug. 1 as a Priority Report in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Research, scientists at UCLA’s Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center tested a combination of small molecules that, when used with the BRAF inhibitors, may help overcome the drug resistance and extend the lives of those with advanced melanoma. (more…)

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