Vortex Biosciences Platform Shows Promise for Targeted Sequencing of Pooled CTCs

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – Stanford University researchers last week published a study on a relatively new circulating tumor cell capture technology from Vortex Biosciences, reporting that the system offers a promising method for isolating CTCs with high enough purity to allow successful whole-genome amplification and targeted sequencing.

Published in Genome Medicine last week, the study, conducted with funding from Vortex, explored the firm’s VTX-1 system as a tool to capture CTCs from colorectal cancer patients ahead of whole genome amplification and targeted next-generation sequencing.

Researchers optimized a DNA extraction, amplification and sequencing workflow, which they then tested on both tissue and blood samples from patients with metastatic colorectal cancer.

Numerous technologies have emerged for the isolation tumor or other rare cells from blood samples, and more recently, a divide has emerged between affinity technologies — which use specific surface markers or other molecules to tag CTCs and pull them out of the larger pool of circulating cells — and label-free methods that take advantage of size-based filtration, or other microfluidic techniques to concentrate CTCs from the overall background.

Vortex’s approach falls under the latter category. The VTX-1 uses a microfluidic chip to capture CTCs in what the company describes as “micro-scale

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