Monitoring the course of therapy in metastatic cancer – what for?

Patients with circulating tumor cells (CTC) have a bad prognosis

The detection and analysis of CTCs in the blood correspond to a so-called "liquid biopsy". Especially in the metastatic setting, it is impossible in many cases, to remove tissue material, which allows a characterization of the tumor. Many decisions about therapy are factually based on the histology of the primary tumor. The molecular characterization of CTCs may therefore give a much more accurate view on disease state over time. Even the mere presence of CTCs is an indicator of treatment failure, resulting in a poorer prognosis for the patient.

The molecular characterization of CTCs reflects current disease

With primary tumors, molecular genetic features are used as support for therapy decision. In metastases, CTCs transport comparable key information. The expression profiles of CTCs and primary tumor cells may be different, for example in terms of ER, PR and Her2. A pure CTC identification and quantification in the blood alone is not sufficient in order to realize such differences. With AdnaTest the metastatic tumor cells circulating in the blood are simultaneously identified and characterized via an immune selection with multiple antibodies and by subsequent multiplex PCR (e.g. cancer with the markers CA15-3, and Her2 EPCAM/GA733-2) – the AdnaTest delivers a detailed genetic profile. In this way, better monitoring of disease progression and an improvement in the treatment plan are possible.