How much does a cancer cell weigh? And why does it matter? As cancer cells die, they change their weight in a matter of hours. A new device called the Suspended Microchannel Resonator (SMR) is a new technology that can measure a small change in the weight of a single cancer cell. The SMR machine can detect this change and tell whether a cancer cell has died of "natural causes" or if it was killed by a cancer drug. This allows rapid assessment of whether an individual patient is responding to a cancer treatment or not. This wraps together everything about a cancer patient (such as their myeloma genetics, environmental and other biological factors) and analyzes the response to treatment, making it truly personalized medicine. A company called Travera is now working to commercialize this technology developed in the Manalis Laboratory in the Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research at MIT. It was recently tested in multiple myeloma in a small study at Dana Farber. Learn more about this fascinating technology that may create the first universal biomarker for cancer in this interview with Traver's CEO, Clifford Reid, PhD.
Thank you to our episode sponsor, GSK.