Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) sparked scientific interest over fifty years ago and their detection and analysis is proving to be a highly sought-after tool in the individualisation of cancer diagnosis and treatment.
It is very well established that Circulating Tumour Cells are essential for the establishment of metastases: they function as the single haematological route of malignancies. In fact, ‘metastatic insufficiency’ is officially defined as the elimination of CTCs.CTCs are a subpopulation of tumour cells derived from the primary cancer site that have:
· Detached from the primary tumour mass
Maintrac® CTC Count Test The Maintrac CTC Count test is a simple blood test finds every Circulating Tumour Cell present in the blood. CTCs in a 15-20mL sample of patient blood are detected and quantified. Live cells are distinguished from fragmented tumour cells and analysed. CTC-count is an independent prognostic indicator, that is, it gives an indication of the aggressiveness of a patient’s cancer at the time of the test. A single CTC count test is intended as a simple baseline count. The best way to monitor cancer activity and long-term effectiveness of treatment is via a single CTC Count test every 3-6 months.