Recently, there has been increased attention on the analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs), also known as liquid biopsy, owing to its potential benefits in cancer diagnosis and treatment. Circulating tumor cells are released from primary tumor lesions into the blood stream and eventually metastasize to distant body organs. However, a major hurdle with CTC analysis is their natural scarcity. Existing methods lack sensitivity, specificity, or reproducibility required in CTC characterization and detection. Here, we report untargeted molecular profiling of single CTCs obtained from gastric cancer and colorectal cancer patients, using live single cell mass spectrometry integrated with microfluidics-based cell enrichment techniques. Using this approach, we showed the difference in the metabolomic profile between CTCs originating from different cancer groups. Moreover, potential biomarkers were putatively annotated to be specific to each cancer type.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research