The Popular Mechanics fourth annual Breakthrough Awards recently were announced, with Mehmet Toner, PhD, (left) director of the BioMEMS Resource Center, and the Circulating Tumor Cell-chip (CTC) cited in the Science and Technology Division. The awards, sponsored by the Bristol Myers Squibb Company, celebrate research innovations and the personalities behind them.
The CTC-chip was developed at the MGH in a collaborative effort between Toner and his team from the BioMEMS Resource Center and Daniel A. Haber, MD, PhD, director of the Cancer Center. The device can capture microscopic cancer cells using nanofluidic technology and a small blood sample from cancer patients. Haber hopes that this may revolutionize the way oncologists treat cancers in the near future.
"While much work remains to be done, this approach raises the possibility of rapidly and noninvasively monitoring tumor response to treatment, allowing changes if the treatment is not effective, and the potential for early detection screening in people at increased risk of cancer," says Haber.
The formal announcement of the awards by Popular Mechanics and a celebratory dinner were held at the Hearst Tower in New York City. Sunitha Nagrath, PhD, of the BioMEMS Resource Center and a member of Toner's team, was on hand to demonstrate the CTC-chip and accept the award on Toner's behalf.