Researchers led by Catherine Alix-Panabières from Saint-Eloi Hospital in Montpellier, France, report in Clinical Chemistry that current approaches for detecting circulating tumor cells can pick up circulating epithelial cells in patients with benign colon disease. They analyzed peripheral blood from 53 patients with benign colon diseases — such as diverticulosis or Crohn's disease, among others — and analyzed it using CellSearch and CK19-EPISPOT. CellSearch identified circulating tumor cells in 11.3 percent of the patients and EPISPOT found circulating tumor cells in 18.9 percent of the patients; the researchers note that after three years of follow up, no patients were diagnosed with colorectal cancer. "This finding points to the need for further molecular characterization of circulating epithelial cells and has important implications for the use of CTC testing," Alix-Panabières and colleagues write.
FFA Sciences' Andrew Huber and colleagues describe a fluorescence sensor that they have developed to measure free-form bilirubin in plasma. As they report in Clinical Chemistry, their method relies on a fluorescently labeled mutated fatty acid binding protein whose fluorescence is quenched upon binding bilirubin. "The BL22P1B11-Rh probe provides accurate plasma sample Bf concentrations with a single measurement, in one minute with either a handheld Bf meter or a laboratory fluorometer," Huber et al. write.