Molecular profiling of single circulating tumor cells from lung cancer patients

Seung Min Park, Dawson J. Wong, Chin Chun Ooi, David M. Kurtz, Ophir Vermesh, Amin Aalipour, Susie Suh, Kelsey L. Pian, Jacob J. Chabon, Sang Hun Lee, Mehran Jamali, Carmen Say, Justin N. Carter, Luke P. Lee, Ware G. Kuschner, Erich J. Schwartz, Joseph B. Shrager, Joel W. Neal, Heather A. Wakelee, Maximilian DiehnViswam S. Nair, Shan X. Wang, Sanjiv S. Gambhir

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

88 Scopus citations


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are established cancer biomarkers for the "liquid biopsy" of tumors. Molecular analysis of single CTCs, which recapitulate primary and metastatic tumor biology, remains challenging because current platforms have limited throughput, are expensive, and are not easily translatable to the clinic. Here, we report a massively parallel, multigene-profiling nanoplatform to compartmentalize and analyze hundreds of single CTCs. After high-efficiency magnetic collection of CTC from blood, a single-cell nanowell array performs CTC mutation profiling using modular gene panels. Using this approach, we demonstrated multigene expression profiling of individual CTCs from non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with remarkable sensitivity. Thus, we report a highthroughput, multiplexed strategy for single-cell mutation profiling of individual lung cancer CTCs toward minimally invasive cancer therapy prediction and disease monitoring.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E8379-E8386
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number52
StatePublished - 27 Dec 2016


  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Microfluidics
  • Rare-cell sorting
  • Reverse transcription-PCR
  • Single-cell analysis


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