CTC (circulating tumor cells) test
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cancer cells that enter the bloodstream and circulate throughout the body that originate from primary tumors and metastatic lesions. Capturing these circulating tumor cells (CTC) is essentially a “liquid biopsy”, a sampling of the tumor from peripheral blood. By monitoring the number of such cancer cells, it is possible to detect and diagnose cancer recurrences and metastasis to support earlier treatments.
CTCs may be detected prior to tumors being visible on imaging studies, and thus may be useful in monitoring for early detection of recurrences and in those who have not yet been diagnosed with cancer.
Approximately 21ml of venous blood is collected. Analysis is conducted in a licensed clinical laboratory. Results are ready in about 3 weeks, and test results are explained by a physician, where the therapeutic effect, prognosis, and future treatment plan can be discussed.