04 August 2016: Guildford, UK & Houston, USA - ANGLE plc, the specialist medtech company, announces a poster presentation by researchers from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center describing clinically-relevant results from a study using its lead product, the Parsortix cell separation system, to harvest breast cancer cells in blood for subsequent molecular characterisation. The poster was presented at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry Annual Meeting on 2 August 2016.

The research team, led by Dr James M. Reuben, Professor, Department of Hematopathology, MD Anderson Cancer Center, confirmed the ability to perform advanced molecular analysis on breast cancer cells isolated from blood samples using the Parsortix liquid biopsy technology. The researchers note the ability of the Parsortix method to harvest circulating tumor cells (CTCs) without the use of antibodies.

In the study, entitled “Antibody-free microfluidics-based circulating tumor cell enrichment by ANGLE plc Parsortix and downstream molecular characterization by Affymetrix branched DNA technology”, the researchers describe the advantages of being able to perform gene expression analysis on the harvested cells.

Following capture of breast cancer cells that were spiked into healthy donor blood samples, the researchers measured the expression of several genes, including specific breast-cancer related genes. The study results show high specificity for detection of the targeted genes and strong sensitivity for highly expressed genes in dilutions of the harvested cell extracts. The ability to measure gene expression in CTCs has the potential to provide more clinically actionable information than simple detection or quantification of tumor cells in blood.

This new research demonstrates the potential to obtain particularly detailed information from CTCs regarding the cells being analysed. Liquid biopsy using the Parsortix system, combined with molecular characterisation of the CTCs, can be repeated over time without requiring surgical removal of a tumor sample. It offers a less invasive and more personalized approach to monitoring for response to therapy and disease progression.

ANGLE Chief Technology Officer, Dr Shane Booth, commented:

“Multiplexed gene expression analysis will be a very important approach in enabling new clinical diagnostic capability in oncology through liquid biopsy.  But this is technically demanding, and leading edge techniques will need to be applied with CTCs if liquid biopsy is to be robust and versatile.   CTC analysis using array based methods is an area of particular interest to us, and this research is an important step in proving their efficacy with our cell separation system, and in developing the required methodology.  Coming as they do from the renowned MD Anderson Cancer Center, these developments and conclusions are encouraging and exciting.”