Study confirms that the test allows early diagnosis of lung cancer through detection of CTCs

Nov. 5, 2014

Rarecells SAS has announced the publication of the first study to demonstrate that the company’s ISET blood test can allow the diagnosis of lung cancer among chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients. The independent study, “Sentinel Circulating Tumor Cells Allow Early Diagnosis of Lung Cancer in Patients with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease” was recently published in the PLOS ONE open-access journal.

In the study, researchers used the ISET (Isolation by Size of Tumor/Trophoblastic Cells) sentinel cancer cell searching technology to screen for CTCs in COPD patients. According to company spokespersons, ISET is able to detect one cancer cell in 10 ml of blood. The migration of CTCs into the bloodstream is an early event that occurs during tumor development and is a critical step in metastases. The study determined the presence of CTCs in 245 subjects without cancer, including 168 COPD patients, control smokers, and non-smoking healthy individuals.

COPD patients were monitored annually by ISET and low-dose spiral CT—the imaging tool to detect lung cancers. CTCs were detected by ISET in five (3%) of the 168 COPD patients, one to four years before a lung nodule became detectable by CT scans. This led to prompt surgical resection of the nodules. This strategy was clinically very successful, as all five patients were free of any sign of tumor, including CTC detected by ISET, sixteen months after surgery.

The ISET test is highly sensitive for circulating cancer cells (CCCs: cytopathologically validated CTCs), which, when detected, confirm the existence of a primary tumor that has yet to be diagnosed. Follow-up immunomolecular, as well as genetic analyses of CCCs, can determine the location of the original tumor and the DNA mutations present in the tumor. This information guides the choice of targeted treatment. Read the study.

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