Development of a method to isolate circulating tumor cells using mesenchymal-based capture

Rhonda L. Bitting, Rengasamy Boominathan, Chandra Rao, Gabor Kemeny, Brad Foulk, Mariano A. Garcia-Blanco, Mark Connelly, Andrew J. Armstrong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


Epithelial tumor cells can become mesenchymal cells and vice versa via phenotypic transitions, a process known as epithelial plasticity. We postulate that during the process of metastasis, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) lose their epithelial phenotype and acquire a mesenchymal phenotype that may not be sufficiently captured by existing epithelial-based CTC technologies. We report here on the development of a novel CTC capture method, based on the biology of epithelial plasticity, which isolates cells based on OB-cadherin cell surface expression. Using this mesenchymal-based assay, OB-cadherin cellular events are detectable in men with metastatic prostate cancer and are less common in healthy volunteers. This method may complement existing epithelial-based methods and may be particularly useful in patients with bone metastases.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 1 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Epithelial plasticity
  • Epithelial-mesenchymal transition
  • OB-cadherin
  • Osteomimicry
  • Prostate cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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