Friday, March 6, 2009

CellSearch™ - testing cancer cells

Something from the depths of the ocean? Attractive as it may be, it ain’t pretty as it looks. No. It is something I worry about almost every day. Just one of these. Something anyone who has or had cancer. A single cancer cell. Just one, can change your life forever. Just one haunts you.

There is a new-ish test out there now called CellSearch™. It detects cancer cells differently then tumor marker tests and much more accurately!

Below excerpts from RARITAN, N.J.,…
“Veridex, LLC… (Feb 2008)… announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted an expanded clearance for the CellSearch™ System to be used as an aid in the monitoring of metastatic prostate cancer (MPC) patients. The CellSearch™ System currently is cleared for monitoring metastatic breast and metastatic colorectal cancer patients. The CellSearch™ System identifies and counts circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in a blood sample to predict progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with metastatic breast, colorectal or prostate cancer, and can do so earlier than the current standard of care. The results of serial testing for CTCs with the CellSearch™ System provide additional information to the oncologist and does so earlier than other currently approved diagnostic modalities, thereby allowing the oncologist to make more-informed patient care decisions.”

If you are concerned with your regular testing’s accuracy, ask your doctor to do the CellSearch™ test. Mine did. It can give you piece of mind, or a heads up for your doctor on which treatments are working for your, if you need a full course of treatment or if just a couple is enough .

… “Currently, oncologists often have to wait several months before they can determine if a specific treatment is beneficial to the patient. The CellSearch™ System helps physicians to predict disease progression and patient
survival any time during therapy. "I am extremely pleased that we now can offer this test to patients with metastatic prostate cancer," said Dr. Louis Fink of the Nevada Cancer Institute in Las Vegas, Nevada. "We have been evaluating the clinical utility of the CellSearchTM System in patients with metastatic prostate cancer since January 2007. Our findings demonstrate a strong indication that the baseline number of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) is prognostic, and that the number of prostate CTCs is altered by the therapy." Dr. Nick Vogelzang, also of the Nevada Cancer Institute, continued, "We have compared CellSearch™ CTC test results to the standard clinical and biomedical parameters, such as prostate specific antigen (PSA) measured in MPC patients. A decrease in the number of CTCs is most often associated with patients successfully responding to therapy. Further analysis of CTCs may provide information as to the most efficacious treatments for specific individuals."…”
… “The CellSearch™ System is the first diagnostic test to automate the detection and enumeration of CTCs, cancer cells that detach from solid tumors and enter the blood stream, and is a new class of diagnostic tools. The system's specificity, sensitivity and reproducibility allow for serial assessment of CTCs as early as the first cycle of treatment to help evaluate disease progression sooner. The CellSearchTM System was originally cleared by the FDA in January 2004 as a diagnostic tool for identifying and counting CTCs in a blood sample to predict progression-free survival and overall survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer. …”

Wait. I kind of wonder, why haven’t we heard MORE about this if it has been around for metastatic breast cancer for FIVE YEARS?!

… “The authors of this study concluded: "The very short median progression-free survival in patients with elevated circulating tumor cells at the first follow-up visit suggests that these patients are receiving ineffective therapy." In addition, as recently as November 2006, a metastatic breast cancer study was published in Clinical Cancer Research where the authors concluded: "The results reported here indicate that the evaluation of CTCs is an accurate measure of treatment efficacy." Additionally, the authors said: "The ability to serially quantitate and interrogate CTCs in patients with breast cancer makes possible new ways of managing and investigating the disease." Dr. N. Vogelzang is the recipient of a research fellowship grant from Veridex for the purpose of supporting independent research in metastatic prostate cancer patients.

For case studies, and more complete detailed information visit Veridex directly:

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