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Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) are tumor cells which are released by primary tumor into the bloodstream. Recent research over the years has shown that CTC plays a vital role in cancer metastasis, which means that CTC is responsible for the spread of cancer from the primary tumor to other organs. CTC are rarely found in healthy people or in people with nonmalignant tumors. A scientific study conducted by Allard et al. (2004)1, reported that only 1 out of 344 (0.3%) healthy individuals and those with non-malignant disease had >1 CTC detected in their blood, when they underwent the CELLSEARCH® Circulating Tumor Cell Test.

The monitoring of a cancer patient’s response to treatment is essential. While imaging techniques and protein markers may reflect cancer progression, these conventional methods have their limitations— Imaging techniques reflect the endpoint of cancer spread, but do not reveal the process of cancer progression, which may indicate treatment resistance.

A landmark study published in JAMA Oncology 2018, Sparano et al.2, reported that CTC counting reveals the risks of cancer recurrences in women 5 years after diagnosis of hormone receptor–positive breast cancer.

1. Allard et al. “Tumor cells circulate in the peripheral blood of all major carcinomas but not in healthy subjects or patients with nonmalignant diseases.” Clinical Cancer Research, vol. 10, no. 20, 2004. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-04-0378.
2. Sparano et al. “Clinical Outcomes in Early Breast Cancer With a High 21-Gene Recurrence Score of 26 to 100 Assigned to Adjuvant Chemotherapy Plus Endocrine Therapy. A Secondary Analysis of the TAILORx Randomized Clinical Trial.” JAMA Oncology. doi: 10.1001/jamaoncol.2019.4794.


The CELLSEARCH® CTC Test is a non-invasive blood-based test that helps oncologists assess the prognosis of patients diagnosed with metastatic breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer.

Cellsearch, approved by Singapore’s Health Science Authority (HSA) in 2011 is the first and only clinically validated, FDA-cleared blood test for the detection and enumeration of CTCs for metastatic breast, colorectal and prostate cancers.

The presence of CTC in the peripheral blood is associated with decreased progression-free survival and decreased overall survival in patients treated for metastatic breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer.

The use of this test is to aid the monitoring of patients with metastatic breast, colorectal, or prostate cancer. Serial CTC testing should also be used in conjunction with other clinical methods for monitoring metastatic breast, colorectal, and prostate cancer.

Benefits of CELLSEARCH® CTC Test

  • It can take as long as 3 months to learn if cancer has progressed by imaging
  • It is a non-invasive blood-based test
  • The test may be used at any time during the course of the disease, before the administration of therapy, to assess prognosis and to inform patient care
  • An early assessment of patient prognosis
  • Accurate evaluation of prognosis in cases where CTC and imaging are discordant in patients with metastatic breast cancer, and in cases where CTC and PSA are discordant in patients with metastatic prostate cancer

Metastatic Prostate Cancer

What is the process?

Speak with your physician to understand whether CELLSEARCH® CTC Test is a suitable test for you. The test does not require additional surgery or procedure. The test only requires two tubes of blood. The sample will send to a CAP-accredited lab in Singapore to perform the analysis, and the result will be ready within 3 to 5 days upon the receipt of specimen in our laboratory.

  • Benefits

    • FDA-approved
    • Early assessment of patient prognosis
  • Recommended For

    Patients who wish to be tested for the possibility of metastatic breast, prostate or colorectal cancer.

  • Process

    Specimen collection kits are to be obtained from a local representative with samples administered accordingly.

    Results will be released within 2 to 5 business days upon receipt of completed specimen kits.

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