Fully automated system effectively isolates and retrieves circulating tumor cells for timely, tailored treatment of cancer
Clearbridge BioMedics will launch its ClearCell FX System at the upcoming American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) 2014 Annual Meeting. This is Clearbridge BioMedics’ next-generation device that is able to isolate and capture circulating tumor cells (CTCs)1 from a blood sample. This is crucial for both research and clinical purposes, as CTCs play a significant role in metastasis, which is the main cause for cancer mortality. By understanding the genetic make-up of CTCs, researchers and clinicians can make better decisions in developing effective treatments for specific groups of patients. The ClearCell FX System will enable these decisions. The ClearCell FX System will be showcased at the ASCO exhibition, at booth 5048, from 30 May to 3 June in Chicago.
“At Clearbridge BioMedics, we aim to bring clarity to cancer, by allowing each and every patient to benefit from timely, tailored treatment. Now that the system is commercially available for research purposes, we shall continue to move rapidly in getting the system ready for clinical diagnostics applications. Real-time monitoring of a patient’s CTCs allows clinicians to develop the best treatment at the right time. By matching treatments to the patient, they benefit from optimal treatment outcomes, with fewer negative side-effects and lower costs,” explained Mr. Johnson Chen, Managing Director, Clearbridge BioMedics.
With this launch, the ClearCell FX System is available for cancer research applications, helping researchers make new medical advances. It uses biomechanical properties to isolate CTCs. This is a label-free method, resulting in wholly-intact and viable CTCs, making it ideal as a research and clinical tool. The robust, fully-automated system will seamlessly integrate with downstream assays and molecular diagnostic tests, making it simple to use, saving both time and manpower requirements. It is highly sensitive and enables researchers to achieve reproducible results. The use of the ClearCell FX System will help cancer researchers better study CTCs and potentially develop new cancer treatments and study cancer metastasis biology. With the ClearCell FX System, a quick and simple blood draw may provide clinicians and researchers with real-time monitoring of the patients’ cancer progression. This is critical as cancers are complex, heterogenous and constantly evolving with each subsequent treatment and over time.
The ClearCell FX system is already being used by the Circulating Tumor Cell Centre of Research Excellence (CTC CoRE), a collaboration that began in January 2014, between Clearbridge BioMedics, National Cancer Centre Singapore and the Pathology Department at the Singapore General Hospital.
“The ClearCell FX System allows us to reproducibly retrieve CTCs from a routine blood test, opening up new possibilities for applying molecular diagnostic tests that have become crucial in managing cancer patients,” noted Dr. Daniel Tan Shao Weng, Consultant, Division of Medical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre Singapore. “Beyond improving patient stratification, such minimally invasive tools provide unique vistas into studying the characteristics of cancer cells in circulation. It is anticipated that the CTC CoRE will bring together state-of-the-art microfluidic technologies, next generation molecular diagnostics, and cutting edge clinical science – ultimately to improve cancer care.”
Clearbridge BioMedics partnered with Cambridge Consultants, a leading product development firm, on the development of the ClearCell FX system. Cambridge Consultants helped to translate Clearbridge Biomedics’ design into a commercial prototype, which was then sent for manufacturing in Singapore. The ClearCell FX System has achieved ISO 13485 certification and obtained the CE mark. Clearbridge BioMedics will commence marketing the ClearCell FX system internationally from June 2014 onwards and is seeking distribution partners in the U.S. and across Europe.
1 CTCs are cells that have detached from a primary tumor and are circulating in the blood stream. They are rare, with only a few CTCs mixed with billions of blood cells per milliliter of blood. They are also known to be the ‘seeds’ for subsequent growth of new tumors.