Markers for detection and isolation of circulating tumor cells proceeding fomr solid tumors
The systemic nature of breast cancer is defined by the dissemination of early tumor cells, which implies the dissemination of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) through blood and lymphatic system before the colonization of distal organs. The presence of these cells in peripheral blood is used as a marker for the pre-stadium of clinically manifest distant metastases. However, it has recently been proven that pacients with a bad prognosis had CTCs levels non-detectable using routinary techniques.
On the other hand, the metastasis process comprises phenotypic alterations mediated by genetic changes, being on them the epithelial-mesenchymal transition process (EMT), where cells lose the characteristics and acquire a mesenchymal phenotype, which includes downregulation from both the CK as wells as E-cadherin and upregulation of VIM or N-cadherin.
Researches have also evaluated if EGFR (epidermal growth factor receptor) in the patients was correlated with the acquisition of the EMT phenotype.
The invention exposes that EGFR expression in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer, with negative-CK CTCs could induce an EMT process. So, simultaneous detection of both EGFR and EMT markers (VIM and Slug) in CTCs could improve the information for prognosis or prediction in operable breast cancer.
Type of collaboration sought...
License agreement and exploitation and/or collaboration.
Sectors of application: Medicine, pharmacy, drugs, biomarkers, oncotherapy.
Stage of development: Interantional patent applied.
Priority date: 30/10/2013.
Holder: Universidad de Granada and Servicio Andaluz de Salud.