In this issue

More than just EpCAM and CK

Detection and characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be performed repeatedly and might allow realtime monitoring of cancer therapies in individual patients. The FDA-approved standard method has analytical limitations due to EpCAM-based enrichment in exchange for its robustness. Watanabe and colleagues have developed a flow cytometry-based CTCs detection system independent of EpCAM expression which allows detection and characterization of CTCs for multiple molecular analyses. The results of preclinical study showed superior sensitivity of their system in detecting EpCAM-negative tumor cells in direct comparison with the standard method. Furthermore, their method also enables a detection of EpCAM–/CK– cells and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT)-induced tumor cells using the incorporation of an EMT marker. The authors believe that their multicolor CTCs detection system will be widely applicable for the study of CTCs which were previously unrecognized.

In this issue: page 206


Assessing myeloid cells in injured kidneys

Myeloid cells are hallmarks of both tissue destruction and endogenous repair in kidney disease. Utilising the initial pro-inflammatory cues following kidney injury prior to dampening inflammation and switching the microenvironment to one that favours repair provides the greatest chance for epithelial regeneration leading to improved kidney function. The complexity, varied aetiology and range of kidney diseases make analyses complex. This study advances the use of flow cytometry to identify and assess myeloid cells in the context of murine kidney ischemia/reperfusion (IR) injury in order to provide a defined method of analysis for which future studies can refer. Comparisons were made between normal and injured kidneys in reference to similar populations in the spleen. Coloring and backgating populations provided further insight into the different cell populations. The assessment of autofluorescence over a seven day time-course following injury was also incorporated into the analysis.

In this issue: page 256