Biophysical technologies for understanding circulating tumor cell biology and metastasis
An understanding of cancer evolution in lung cancer with its associated resistance to therapy can only be achieved with repeated sampling and analysis of the cancer. Given the high risks and costs associated with repeat physical biopsy, alternative technologies must be applied. Several modalities exist for analysis and re-analysis of cancer biology. Among them are the CellSearch platform, the CTC chip, and the high-definition CTC platform. While the former is primarily able to provide prognosticating information in the form of CTC enumeration, the latter two have the advantage of serving as a platform to study tumor biology. Techniques for analysis of single cell genomics, as well as protein expression on a single cell basis provide scientists with the capacity to understand cancer cell populations as a collection of individual cells, rather than as an average of all cells. A multimodal combination of circulating tumor DNAs (ctDNAs), CTCs, proteomics, and CTC-derived xenografts (CDXs) to create computational models useful in diagnosis, prognostication, and predictiveness to treatment is likely the future of tailoring individualized cancer care.