The early detection of cancer study (ICELLATE1) – published in the Journal of Integrative Oncology


iCellate, a Swedish medtech company active in the field of cancer management, in collaboration with Hospital Nacional Arzobispo Loayza in Lima, has conducted an all-comers, single center study that includes individuals in the age bracket 20-80 years that do not belong to any known risk group for cancer, and who do not have any symtoms. Any individual with a current diagnosis or history of any type of tumor was therefore excluded from the study. A total of 1,585 individuals were screened to investigate if circulating tumor cells, CTCs, had invaded their blood circulation. CTCs in their blood samples may be a clinically useful test for the early detection of cancer.

Cancer spreads from a primary tumor to distant parts of the body through circulating tumor cells (CTCs) that migrate into the lymphatic and blood circulation systems. By identifying and analyzing these CTCs, iCellate can help physicians detect and manage the disease.

It turns out that 1.7% were found to have one or more CTC in their blood samples, i.e may be at risk for developing cancer in the future. This percentage is in line with what one would expect for a successful early detection screen among normal, healthy, people. The number also corresponds well to the already published ICELLATE2 study. ICELLATE2 is a different study made up, not of normal healthy people, but of a high-risk population, were one would expect a higher number of individuals with CTCs in their blood samples. Indeed, in that study CTCs were found in 3.2%, almost twice as many. The association of percentage of CTCs with known risk for cancer and the large size of these two studies gives some confidence that the numbers are representative of the population at large.

The present findings therefore identify screening for circulating tumor cells as a promising new screening test for the early detection of cancer. 

Pelle Redare, CEO of iCellate comments the results "The results of ICELLATE1 again seem to confirm the results from our already published study ICELLATE2 and what experts would expects. This confirms that we are on the right track to develop next generations screening tool for metastatic cancer".

iCellate was founded in 2011 as a spin of from Karolinska Institute. The company has its office and laboratory in Solna where it performs its advanced liquid biopsy services.

View the press release here.