The study demonstrates the ability of the Parsortix system to isolate circulating tumour cells, targeting the metastatic spread of cancer.

Liquid biopsy company Angle has announced the results of work undertaken in preclinical models of metastatic breast cancer (MBC), where specific genes involved in the metastatic process have been identified.

The study adds to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the ability of the Parsortix system to isolate single circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and CTC clusters – enabling the identification of actionable targets involved in the metastatic spread of cancer.

Professor Nicola Aceto, ETH Zurich, commented: “Our study provides a novel CTC-based tool to study spontaneous breast cancer metastasis in a highly clinically relevant fashion. Using this model in combination with a CRISPR-based approach, we demonstrate the involvement of targetable players in the metastatic spread of cancer, with potential clinical applicability.”

In a preclinical model, targeted therapy was found to reduce metastasis and has the potential to improve patient outcomes.

In the US, breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women with 287,000 new cases expected in 2022, accounting for 31% of all new cancer cases. In the UK, there are nearly 56,000 new cases of breast cancer each year, making it the most common type of cancer, with one in eight women being diagnosed in their lifetime.

It is estimated that 6% of patients in the US have metastatic disease at the point of diagnosis and approximately 20-30% of all breast cancer patients will eventually develop metastatic disease, while around 90% of cancer deaths are a result of metastasis. Identification of appropriate targets will be essential to enable the development of targeted therapies for MBC.

Angle chief executive, Andrew Newland, said: “We are pleased to report on the use of the Parsortix system for the isolation of single CTCs and CTC clusters in preclinical MBC models, allowing the identification of actionable targets involved in cancer metastasis. ANGLE’s ability to provide such actionable insight shows potential to guide targeted drug development, which can be achieved through our growing pharma services business.”

The findings have now paved the way to further test targeted treatment approaches in metastatic cancer and have the potential to yield further therapies.