Lipido-Metabolomic evaluation of circulating tumor cells by the live single-cell mass spectrometry
Tumor cells are often found in the peripheral blood of cancer patients, even those with localized cancer or who have had a primary tumor removed. Such cells are called circulating tumor cells (CTC). CTCs are cells that have shed into the vasculature from a primary tumor and circulate through the bloodstream, and they are thought to cause metastatic disease. CTCs might contribute greatly to early detection of cancer by only using a blood sample instead of liquid biopsies which was often carried out by only counting few CTCs number to diagnose cancer and the stage of the disease. However, difficulty arises usually from the isolation of these cells since they have very low concentration (few cells per 10 mL). Live single cell mass spectrometry was used on isolated CTC cell by Flow Cytometry from a 10 year old neuroblastoma patient. The single cell Lipido-metabolomics molecular profile was established using Mass spectrometry, interestingly enough catechol amines metabolites were detected which are specific to this type of tumor cells. The catechol amine metabolites were confirmed by MS/MS and their fragmentation patterns were matched with Met frag data base.