Journal: Analytical Chemistry
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Speeding up cancer detection
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Measuring the shapes of globules known as extracellular vesicles (EVs) could offer a rapid, non-invasive way to detect cancer from body-fluid samples and to distinguish between different types of cancer.
Catching cancer early can often make the difference between good and poor treatment outcomes. EVs are highly accessible, being present in body fluids such as urine and blood, making them attractive for cancer screening. But current methods require lengthy processing times to obtain results.
Now, a team that included researchers from Kyushu University in Japan has shown that merely measuring the distribution of shapes of EVs can reveal if cancer is present. The team found that EVs from breast cancer patients and non-cancerous individuals had different shape distributions.
The method could also distinguish between different cancer types. For example, cultured breast cancer cells produced spherical EVs, whereas those from cultured liver cancer cells were a mixture of spherical and oblate particles.
- Analytical Chemistry 93, 7037−7044 (2021). doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.1c00258