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Journal of Clinical Oncology Article Highlights CellSearch(TM) Circulating Tumor Cell Test in Treatment of Metastatic Colorectal Cancer
Date:7/24/2008

Data Support Prognostic Value of Circulating Tumor Cells

RARITAN, N.J., July 25 /PRNewswire/ -- An international, prospective clinical trial found the number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is a strong indicator of progression-free and overall survival among metastatic colorectal cancer patients, according to a report published in the July 1 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology.

The study, conducted in the US, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, found that metastatic colorectal cancer patients with fewer than three circulating tumor cells in their bloodstream had significantly better overall survival than patients with more than three CTCs.

"Given the variety of cancer drugs available today, the ability to monitor CTCs in conjunction with radiological assessment may help physicians and patients make more informed and timely treatment decisions," said lead investigator and author Steven J. Cohen, M.D.*, Attending Physician at Fox Chase Cancer Center. "Obtaining measurements of CTCs for patients with metastatic colorectal cancer beginning a new therapy can provide additional information about their prognosis, and may also be followed serially to assist with clinical management."

These findings were included in a report titled, "Relationship of Circulating Tumor Cells to Tumor Response, Progression-Free Survival, and Overall Survival in Patients with Metastatic Colorectal Cancer," which summarizes data from a prospective trial involving 430 colorectal cancer patients at 55 clinical centers using the CellSearch System to count CTCs. Researchers counted the number of circulating tumor cells in the peripheral blood of patients at baseline and after starting first-, second-, or third-line therapy.

The CellSearch(TM) System is the first diagnostic test to automate the process of identifying and counting circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample. This system helps physicians to predict disease progression and patie
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