The trend towards personalized medicine in the oncology space has been rapidly gaining traction with the advent of genetic analysis which has shown that common tumors, such as breast cancer, are in fact a mixture of several different molecular entities. Cancer diagnostics, which once merely detected the presence of carcinoma cells, is now utilizing advances in genomics for more effective diagnostic and prognostic efforts, as well as therapeutic selection.

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) are cells that are shed from the primary tumor and then circulate through the blood stream. The presence of CTCs was first detected in 1869; however, only with the recent development of modern technological platforms have researchers been capable of reliably capturing and characterizing CTCs. Numerous studies have shown that CTCs may be used as a marker to predict disease progression and survival in metastatic and perhaps even early-stage cancer patients. Analysis of the genetic material contained within CTCs may provide insight into therapy effectiveness and mechanisms of drug resistance.

Click here to access full report: A Primer on Oncology Diagnostics

This report will discuss various types of oncological diagnostic tools, with an in-depth discussion of CTCs including their history, challenges to their use, and companies and technologies in the space.


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