Molecular Prognosis of Carcinomas In Situ

Current methods for identifying and studying circulating tumor cells (CTC) have been problematic, as they require complex cell isolation procedures, comprising many technical challenges which limit utility in clinical medicine.  BC200 RNA is a small non-protein-coding RNA normally restricted to neuronal expression. The dramatic exception to this is that BC200 is detected in a number of tumors, such as invasive carcinomas of the breast, but not in normal breast tissue, or in benign tumors such as fibroadenomas.  Data from the Tiedge laboratory at SUNY Downstate, using invasive breast cancer patients, normal controls, and treated breast cancer patients, indicate that BC200 RNA is a high-fidelity marker of circulating tumor cells.  The data indicate a remarkable specificity for this marker in tumor-bearing patients, whereas only background levels of BC200 RNA are detected in normal subjects. The technology employs the quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR), capable of detecting as few as several cells in a blood sample. This simple CTC assay is performed routinely on whole blood and is functional with any RT-PCR diagnostic platform in use.

Patent Information:
Technology/Start-up ID: