MIT's Technology Review reports that James Hicks and his colleagues at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have shown for the first time that it's possible to examine individual cells in a tumor to show the variability in its makeup. Until now, Technology Review's Lauren Gravitz reports, most tumor analysis has been done on thousands of cells at once, "a method that can obscure individual variation and can cause researchers to misidentify a cancer's aggressiveness." But Hicks' technique allows researchers to sort through and separate the cells, and amplify parts of their genome. "Once you know the different populations of cancer cells, you can use therapies that target all of them and eradicate much more of the disease," Gravitz says.
Deconstructing a Tumor
May 14, 2010