Test detects recurrent cancer sooner, predicts treatment effectiveness
Principal Investigator Derek Raghavan, MD, PhD, Chairman of the Taussig Cancer Institute, and Institute staff conducted a study that found a circulating tumor cell (CTC) test more effective as a predictor of response to chemotherapy than the standard blood test that looks at prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels.
CTCs are cancer cells that have broken away from an existing tumor cell and have entered the bloodstream. The presence of these cells in the blood can provide valuable insight into the progression of the cancer.
The CTC test has the ability to detect recurrent cancer sooner, while also predicting how well treatment is working and the patient's probable outcome. The test results will allow physicians to better monitor a patient's progress, adjusting treatment if necessary.
The test is used widely as an experimental tool at Taussig and was named the Top Medical Innovation of 2009 at Cleveland Clinic’s Medical Innovation Summit.
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