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Chemoaffinity capture of pre-targeted prostate cancer cells with magnetic beads




Prostate circulating tumor cells (PCTCs) in circulation are shed from either a primary tumor or metastases, which are directly responsible for most prostate cancer deaths. Quantifying exfoliated PCTCs may serve as an indicator for the clinical management of prostate cancer, isolating and removing of PCTCs could potentially reduce prostate cancer metastasis, and culturing and characterizing captured PCTCs could facilitate the development of personalized treatment options. Prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) is an established biomarker for prostate cancer being strongly expressed on prostate tumor cells associated with high-grade primary, androgen independent, and metastatic tumors.


Suspensions of PSMA+ (LNCaP) cells were pre-targeted with the irreversible PSMA inhibitor biotin-PEG12-CTT-54 to serve as a bait to capture PSMA+ cells using streptavidin-coated magnetic beads. Decreasing numbers of LNCaP cells were spiked into blood to determine the cell captured efficiency, recovery and viability.


High selectivity, recovery, and viability were achieved for the capture of PSMA+ cells in both model experiments with mixtures of LNCaP cells and WBCs as well as blood samples spiked with LNCaP cells. As low as 10 cells were captured from 1 ml of blood with nearly 90% viability. More importantly, captured cells could be subsequently propagated in vitro.


This methodology for the detection, isolation, and culture of PCTCs from peripheral blood can serve as an effective tool for the detection of metastatic prostate cancer, treatment monitoring, and the development of personalized therapy based on the responsiveness of PCTCs to chemotherapeutic strategies. Prostate 72:1532–1541, 2012. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.