Bayreuth, Germany – For the first time, it was possible to show a significantly higher resistance of tumor stem cells to anticancer drugs compared to the total circulating tumor cells.
Tumor stem cells have the ability to metastasize, i.e. to divide.
Researchers of the Transfusion Medicine Center Bayreuth in Germany have been able to use this characteristic of tumor stem cells and to culture them outside the body in spheroids, so-called “micrometastases”, from circulating tumor cells.
The examination of circulating epithelial tumor cells (CETCs) and tumor spheroids from
patients with solid tumors regarding the cytotoxic effect of drugs was performed using the maintrac® method. The result was presented at the San Francisco Breast Cancer Symposium 2014 and even so at DGHO (German Society of Hematology and Oncology) and it reveals that the effect of the tested drugs on these “micrometastases” is much lower than on the total of the circulating tumor cells.
However, surprisingly, there are nevertheless drugs showing this effect.
Salinomycin, a polyether ionophore antibiotic isolated from streptomyces albus, effectively destroyed the spheroids cultivated from the CETC despite their significantly higher resistance to other drugs. Prof. Katharina Pachmann is enthusiastic: “The evidence that salinomycin may destroy spheroids improves its promising role as an anticancer drug. These examinations may be interesting for pharmaceutical companies in the scope of their drug development.”
All examinations have been performed on the maintrac® platform. This is a procedure enabling the monitoring of the course of the tumor activity within the blood already during the therapy by means of blood samples in order to reduce the risk of a hematogenic metastatic spread, and thereby to optimize the further course of the disease.
maintrac® differs from other systems as it is able to detect circulating tumor cells from the blood almost without losses. At the same time, morphology is an important diagnostic tool to detect potential tumor cells.
The research and development society SIMFO offers professional study management, method development in connection with the highest know-how in oncology, hemostaseology, and transfusion medicine. Constant training, structured knowledge transfer, and a successful innovation culture are the basis for SIMFO to develop the most modern top-class procedures.
The interest in the services of the Transfusionsmedizinischen Zentrum Bayreuth has been increasingly developing beyond European borders for a few years now. Clinics, physicians, and laboratories from Germany and Europe, Switzerland, USA, Canada, and Australia regularly send their probes. An increased interest in maintrac® can, furthermore, be seen in Asia, Russia, and in the Middle East.
SIMFO Spezielle Immunologie Forschung + Entwicklung GmbH