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Center for Molecular Medicine Among First Labs in Nation to Offer Groundbreaking Test to Aid in Treatment of Colorectal Cancer
Date:12/12/2007

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Dec. 12 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) today announced it is one of the first laboratories in the nation to offer a new test to help guide the treatment of metastatic colorectal cancer (CRC; also called stage IV or "advanced").

The CMM (http://www.cmmdx.org) is offering the CellSearch(TM) System from Veridex (http://www.veridex.com) to physicians as a vital new tool in managing patients with metastatic CRC.

Recently approved by the FDA for the monitoring of CRC, the CellSearch System identifies and counts circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample to predict progression-free and overall-survival in patients, and can do so earlier than the current standard of care.

Testing for CTCs with the CellSearch System, in conjunction with other clinical methods for monitoring, can help physicians assess disease progression, thereby guiding more informed care decisions earlier. The CMM began providing FDA-approved CellSearch testing services for metastatic breast cancer patients earlier this year.

The CellSearch System is the first diagnostic test to automatically identify and count CTCs, cancer cells that detach from solid tumors and enter the bloodstream. The system's specificity, sensitivity and reproducibility allow assessment of CTCs as early as the first cycle of treatment to help evaluate disease progression sooner.

According to the American Cancer Society, CRC claims approximately 55,000 lives annually, the vast majority of which are a result of recurrent metastatic disease. Metastatic CRC occurs when tumor cells spread to other locations in the body and grow. Although there are several options for the treatment of metastatic CRC, oncologists often have to wait months before they can determine if a specific treatment has been beneficial to the patient.

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SOURCE Center for Molecular Medicine
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