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Human Protein Engineered to Capture Circulating Tumor Cells

04:44 EDT 29 Jun 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Scientists at the Wyss Institute at Harvard University have engineered the human blood opsonin protein known as FcMBL, which was originally developed as a broad-spectrum pathogen capture agent, to target circulating tumor cells (CTCs) instead. The team reportedly used magnetic beads coated with FcMBL to capture 90% of seven different types of cancer cells. The novel approach could become useful in cancer diagnostics, according to the investigators. “The FcMBL capture technology may therefore provide a new tool for harvesting a broad range of CTCs with high efficiency as it targets tumor cell specific surface markers that are expressed across diverse cell types and retained throughout the metastatic process,” write the researchers  in a paper (“An Engineered Human Fc-Mannose-Binding-Lectin Captures Circulating Tumor Cells”) that appears in Advanced Biosystems. "We were able to rapidly isolate CTCs both in vitro and from blood, including some which are not bound ...

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