How does the AdnaTest work?

AdnaTest - simple and efficient

The AdnaTest technology uses an optimized combination of antibodies for cell selection and a combination of tumor-associated markers for the detection of tumor cells (EpCAM, CA15-3, presence of Her2new receptors; optional detection of estrogen and progesterone receptors by AdnaTest ER / PR Detect). The tests are simple to implement and require no special equipment, or specially trained personnel - it can be introduced in each clinic that has a laboratory experienced in RT-PCR analysis. For the test twice 7 ml of blood are taken and stored/transported with the AdnaCollect vial system. The sample must be stored at 4°C, transported and processed within 24 hours.

The AdnaTest is a two-stage process (Select and Detect) for detection of tumor cells in peripheral blood and for their subsequent molecular characterization.

1.AdnaTest Select

Immunomagnetic cell selection with multiple tumor-associated antibodies.

In a first step, the CTCs in the blood of the patient are enriched (AdnaTest Select). This is done by using antibody-coated magnetic particles (beads). Here, several antibodies are used, which bind with high specificity and affinity the corresponding cancer cells. The enriched cells are lysed and subsequently purified several times, so that the relevant tumor cell information exists in the form of mRNA.


2. AdnaTest Detect

Multiplex PCR of various cancer-associated tumor markers.

In a second step the enriched cells are examined by RT-PCR for tumor-associated expression patterns. The mRNA strands are rewritten with the help of reverse transcriptase into cDNA. Subsequently, by a multiplex PCR several associated tumor markers are amplified and displayed for their expression patterns.


The results of the AdnaTest are produced within eight hours - its result report being accurate, objective and easy to interpret. In the picture aside, two different patient results are presented. With Patient A, right after the start of therapy the disappearance of the tumor marker CA15-3 and GA 733-2 can be seen, representing a positive response to treatment. In Patient B, however, the results suggests that therapy does not make a difference, as a continued positive detection of tumor markers during the entire treatment is evident - a sign of treatment failure.


AdnaTest has a specificity of> 90% and a sensitivity (recovery in "spiking" experiments) of 2 tumor cells in 5 ml of blood at a recovery rate of> 90%. The AdnaTest Cancer has received the German quality assurance status (CE Mark).

What do you need to do to have access to the AdnaTest system?

On request, QIAGEN Hannover trains your hospital laboratory staff in the performance of the AdnaTest Cancer – thereafter your own organization can use the test. Alternatively, samples can be processed with a third party laboratory. We are happy to name appropriate partner laboratories.