Nanoflares for the Detection, Isolation, and Culture of Live Tumor Cells from Human Blood*
Tumor metastasis is believed to progress through a series of steps by which cancer cells originating at a primary tumor intravasate into the blood stream, travel through the blood stream, extravasate, and form secondary tumors at distal sites. Circulating tumor cells offer the opportunity to detect cancer metastasis before distal tumor formation. This chapter reports the application of nanoflares for the capture of live circulating breast cancer cells. These nanoflares are able to detect target mRNA from model metastatic breast cancer cell lines in human blood with high recovery and up to 99 percent fidelity. The chapter also reports the retrieval of live recurrent breast cancer cells spiked into whole human blood using nanoflares and subsequent culture as mammospheres.