• about
    cancer

iCellate can access the very rare
and continuously changing cancer cells

Cancer is a broad range of diseases that involves abnormal cell accumulation. Cancer originates from a primary tumor from which individual cells can spread through the lymphatic system or the blood stream to distant parts of the body and form metastases. Fatal therapy failure is almost always associated with metastases.

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)

Cancer cells can migrate into the lymphatic and blood circulation system co-opting them as a transportation vehicle to ultimately metastasize to other parts of the body. Once in the blood, the vast majority of the circulating tumor cells actually die from natural causes, but a few survive, and a fateful few of those also attach at distant organs where they may exit the circulation and lodge in a distant organ and sooner or later may start to grow to form metastases.

Detecting CTCs

To accurately diagnose cancer, the actual cells that spread the disease needs to be analyzed, so that their properties can be determined. Those properties should then guide the clinical management of the disease.

The current available method for monitoring of only a subset of CTCs has well known and serious limitations.

Guiding treatment

Cancer therapy prediction is currently guided by analysis of biopsies from the primary tumor. It is now known that metastases develop partially independently of the primary tumor and that biopsies therefore cannot be considered ideal bases for diagnosis. This may explain some initial therapy failures. With the information now available through ongoing research, the details of the properties of the collective of CTCs are closer to what we need to base our diagnoses on.