The Laboratory of Rare Circulating Human Cells (LCCRH)
Location Montpellier University Hospital
Name of the Coordinator Catherine Alix-Panabières
Description (expertise, activity and resources)
The LCCRH is a unique platform in Europe specialized in enrichment, detection and characterization of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in solid cancers. The LCCRH has an international recognition in this field based on its 17-years expertise: on this platform, we can detect and enumerate CTCs from blood samples using high-tech: CellSearch system (Menarini), the only technology that has been cleared FDA-USA and that can enumerate CTCs in a few hours, defining CTCs as « EpCAM(+) Dapi(+) CK8,18,19(+) CD45(-) cells » in a robust and reproducible way ; the EPISPOT assay (patent of the CHU of Montpellier), that allows the detection of viable CTCs based on a short-term cell culture in vitro. The LCCRH has also an expertise on the (i) PARSORTIX system (Angle) for enriching CTCs based on their size and deformability, (ii) CellCollector (GILUPI) for capturing CTCs directly in vivo in the vein of the patient. This expertise gave a considerable advance to the LCCRH face to the concurrent development of using CTCs in diagnostic and monitoring of cancer. The laboratory is currently involved in different national and international projects. The team has recently acquired the DEPArray™ System which enables isolation of individual, intact cells and researchers to study the biological significance of rare cells in disease development, progression and therapeutic response. The DEPArray™ System is unique in combining imaging technologies with the ability to manipulate and recover individual, viable rare cells from a heterogeneous sample. The SIRIC decided to support the development of this technology and has provided to that end a funding grant to cover the salary of the engineer dedicated to this platform since mid-2016.