William M. Grady, MD, from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, discusses results from an ongoing prospective study looking at gene expression profiling of circulating tumor cells in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.
William M. Grady, MD, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, GI Cancer Prevention Program, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, discusses results from an ongoing prospective study looking at gene expression profiling of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer.
The ability to monitor response to treatment, resistance, or progression in pancreatic cancer is constrained by current biopsy methods. One of the biggest clinical challenges is access to the tumor, since the formation of scar tissue is common, Grady explains. Without adequate access, traditional biopsy is difficult, which complicates the investigation of novel agents.
In a study conducted at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, a new model created by CellPath Therapeutics was used to examine the CTCs in 10 mL of peripheral blood. This tool was able to isolate tumor progenitor cells, extract total RNA, and perform gene-expression analysis. If validated, Grady notes, this tool could revolutionize the management of pancreatic cancer.