Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

Everything you need to know about Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

First of all, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) embody a captivating facet of oncology research. These cells derived from primary tumors enter the bloodstream, beginning a mysterious journey through the body.

Indeed, their discreet, but potentially revealing, presence is generating growing interest in understanding the mechanisms underlying cancer metastasis and progression.

Compared to classical tissue-rooted tumor cells, CTCs represent an exciting analytical challenge. Their rarity within the blood stream requires sensitive methods for their detection and characterization.

Why use Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) ?

The use of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) offers distinct advantages over other tumor surveillance technologies.

Unlike traditional invasive biopsies which make it possible to obtain a single tissue sample, the detection of CTCs is done from repeatable blood samples. This helps avoid uncomfortable and potentially risky procedures for patients.

Another advantage is the real-time dynamics offered by CTCs. While conventional biopsies provide a limited snapshot of tumor status, CTCs circulate continuously in the blood system.

The importance of early detection of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs).

CTCs detection rate with the CYTO KIT
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The CYTO KIT makes it possible to isolate 2, 5 and 20 NCI H2030 tumor cells seeded in healthy donor blood with respectively 74%, 91.2% (n=25) and 89.4% (n=38) coverage.

Early detection of CTCs would represent a crucial advance in the fight against cancer.

Identifying these cells in the early stages, healthcare professionals could proactively intervene to contain their spread.

This approach could have a significant impact on patient survival rates.

The clinical usefulness of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) as an aid to cancer diagnosis

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) may prove to be a valuable baseline to aid cancer diagnosis.

CTCs analysis offers a non-invasive method to assess cancer progression.

This new approach could play a role in decision-making regarding the necessary use or not of traditional diagnostic methods, such as invasive biopsies which carry risks for the patient, or even expensive medical imaging. It offers a unique opportunity to observe the evolution of cancer.

It is now recognized that the identification and characterization of CTCs provides essential information on the stage and molecular characteristics of cancer. As a result, this would make it possible to tailor treatments more precisely to each patient.

Early assessment of treatment effectiveness

A major clinical utility of CTCs would lie in the early evaluation of treatment effectiveness in patients with cancer.

By regularly monitoring the number and profile of CTCs in a patient’s blood, it would be possible to observe their effectiveness.

This dynamic, real-time monitoring of CTCs would make it possible to quickly adjust treatments and optimize results for each patient.

Monitoring patients during the remission phase

During the remission phase, when the cancer regresses and symptoms may disappear, CTCs analysis would play a crucial role in monitoring patients.

The absence of CTCs in the blood could indicate that the disease is under control. However, the presence of CTCs in the blood of a patient in remission could mean a potential resurgence of cancer.

Early detection of cancer relapse

Early detection of cancer relapse is of paramount importance to ensure effective treatment.

CTCs could be a significant means of detecting this relapse even before the appearance of obvious clinical symptoms and even before being detectable by imaging methods.

Early detection makes it possible to introduce complementary treatments or adapt the therapeutic strategy at an early stage, thus increasing the chances of success in the fight against cancer.

How to detect CTCs ?

ScreenCell’s innovative approach is based on microfiltration devices, thus making it possible to effectively capture CTCs (larger than leukocytes) while allowing the majority of blood cells to pass through.

Using ScreenCell technology, intact, live CTCs are isolated with high precision from blood samples. This non-invasive and highly sensitive method offers an exceptional way to analyze these cells.

The ability of our technology to maintain the integrity of the extracted CTCs then allows us to conduct in-depth studies on their cytological and molecular characteristics. This opens the way to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms of tumor progression.