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Center for Molecular Medicine Among First to Offer New FDA-Approved Test to Aid in Treatment of Prostate Cancer

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- The Center for Molecular Medicine (CMM) today announced it is one of the first laboratories in the nation to offer a new, FDA-approved test that will aid in the treatment of metastatic prostate cancer.

The CMM ( is offering the CellSearch(TM) System from Veridex ( to physicians as a vital new tool in managing patients with metastatic prostate cancer (MPC). The CMM made CellSearch testing services available to physicians last year to help inform treatment of metastatic breast and colorectal cancer.

"This newest addition to our cutting-edge menu of diagnostic services gives physicians another tool for better managing their patients' cancer, this time prostate cancer," said CMM Executive Director Dr. Daniel H. Farkas. "In just one year, the CMM has made available to this community tests that detect and manage breast, colorectal and prostate cancers in a more proactive and efficient way than has ever been possible. It's exciting and we're pleased to serve as a unique medical resource."

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 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 (ACS), prostate cancer is the most common type of cancer found in American men, other than skin cancer. The ACS estimates that there will be about 186,320 new cases of prostate cancer in the U.S. this year, and about 28,660 men will die as a result. MPC occurs when tumor cells spread to other locations in the body and grow. Although there are several options for the treatment of MPC, oncologists often have to wait months before they can determine if a specific treatment has been beneficial to the patient.

The CellSearch System, which is distributed by Veridex, a Johnson & Johnson company, was cleared by the FDA in January 2004 as an in vitro diagnostic test to aid in the identifying and counting of CTCs in a blood sample. Pricing for the test is $495, and is covered by most insurance providers. Physicians interested in obtaining more information may contact CMM directly at 616-391-4330 or visit

About the CMM

The Center for Molecular Medicine, a joint venture between Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Spectrum Health and Van Andel Institute (VAI), brings West Michigan a cutting-edge laboratory that will aid in early diagnoses and enhance personalized medicine. It offers 21st century molecular technologies for investigation of complex diseases like cancer, heart disease, mental illness and other conditions at the DNA, RNA and protein levels. The Center brings new and increased opportunities for diagnostics and pharmaceutical companies to conduct trials in a world-class medical and clinical research environment. For more information, visit

SOURCE The Center for Molecular Medicine
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