"Fly paper" grabs cancer cells

UCLA researchers have developed a nano device that can capture circulating cancer cells (CTCs) in a patient's blood. These CTCs cause metastasis, the leading cause of death in patients with solid tumors. The new nano "fly paper" can grab cancer cells that have broken off from tumors, giving healthcare providers valuable information, from diagnosis to monitoring treatment effectiveness. 

Most doctors currently assess disease state by taking solid biopsy samples. However, finding a site to biopsy can be difficult in patients with early-stage disease. And while other devices exist that capture ciruclating tumor cells, the UCLA researchers' design appears to be more effective. "The nanopillar chip captured more than 10 times the amount of cells captured by the currently used flat structure," lead study author Dr. Shutao Wang says in a statement.

- here's the UCLA release