Liquid Biopsy

THIS is written in your blood.
THIS is known as “liquid biopsy”.
THIS is a test showing whether there is CANCER in your body. How cancer affects your body in real time.
THIS can change the way physicians manage and treat your disease.

ZHANNA ERDMANN

It is about the most advanced and promising technique of blood-based cancer diagnostics.
Cancer does not stay in one place for a long time.
There comes a point when tumor cells leave the tumor boundaries and enter the blood flow, settling in distant organs. This is how metastases occur. And that’s exactly how cancer becomes uncontrolled and unpredictable.

The size of the primary tumor does not matter – dissemination of cancer cells can be massive, even if the primary tumor is initially small. When cancer spreads and turns into a metastatic disease, it becomes much harder to treat it, and the chance to survive decreases.

In addition, cancer can mutate, which makes it “unrecognizable” for the chemotherapy drugs that have acted only yesterday.
This is a very clever and insidious disease.

Over the past decades, scientists have learnt to apply widely the fact that cancer uses blood circulation as a track for metastatic spreading.
Now, “plans” of the tumor can be easily revealed by analyzing what circulating tumor cells, namely tumor DNA, say. The idea is to turn a simple blood test into “liquid biopsy”. These tests are included to the European and international protocols for diagnosis of oncological diseases.

The test for circulating tumor cells detects even a single tumor cell among several billion of normal cells.

To count CTCs, our laboratory employs the CellSearch™ Circulating Tumor Cell Test , which is the only method cleared by U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Our laboratory has the ISO 9001:2015 Certificate.

All analyses are performed in accordance with the GLP principles.

It took about 10 years for the test creators to develop this method. For this purpose, about 120 million dollars were spent.

Repeated biopsy of the tumor tissue is impractical for many reasons. This is an expensive, invasive, painful, and often risky procedure.
Whereas, the blood test for CTCs, “liquid biopsy”, can show in real time, what happens to the cancer genome, especially in cases when it is impossible to perform a biopsy, or when treatment has no effect.
The use of “liquid biopsy” will help explain, why some tumors are very aggressive, while others almost do not grow.

Very often, physicians refer patients to diagnostics of circulating tumor cells when their patients’ cancer has already evolved into a metastatic disease.
The decrease in the CTC count suggests that the treatment is effective. However, if the CTC count remains stable or increases, a decision to change the treatment regimen is made.

This method allows for real-time monitoring of the rate of disease progression: diagnostic imaging techniques are not always able to react quickly to changes in disease activity – the tumor may have already started to diminish at the cellular level, although its sizes can remain stable a while longer.
When the tumor becomes aggressive and begins to metastasize, by using other methods it can be extremely difficult to detect and record occurrence of cancer cells in blood, until they settle in other organs and lymph nodes and a new focus of the disease appears.

The earlier physicians detect tumor DNA in the patient’s body, the better the prognosis for the disease outcome will be. Unfortunately, even a single cancer cell can cause a recurrence. And the method of CTCs testing is able to detect this cell.

Today, the development and use of “liquid biopsy” have significantly expanded our understanding of cancer dissemination, as well as of the way tumor cells change their molecular characteristics.

We use the world’s cutting-edge techniques for cancer diagnosis

FISH testing represents fast cancer diagnosis.
Fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH).

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This is the method allowing determining the location of genetic material in a cell and detecting genetic abnormalities causing cancer.
The test is also used to confirm the established diagnosis and allows for obtaining additional information about the possible disease outcome and advisability of chemotherapy.
The advantage of the FISH test over standard cytogenetic tests is the possibility to detect even minor genetic changes that cannot be seen using a conventional microscope.

Another important difference of the FISH test is the possibility to perform it on cells that have not yet begun to develop actively.
Other tests are carried out on cells only after a 2-week period of their growth in a laboratory. That is why the whole process can take up to 3 weeks, whereas results of the FISH test become known as early as in a few days.

– FISH test principle

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This test involves the use of fluorescent labels on the patient’s tissue sample. These labels are able to bind only with certain chromosome regions. Then, a fluorescent microscope is used to detect chromosome regions bound to fluorescent probes, as well as possible abnormalities that can cause cancer.
Detection of duplications in cancer cells enables optimal selection of the treatment regimen for the patient.

Test for circulating tumor cells (CTCs). It is approved in the USA and Europe
CellSearch™ Circulating Tumor Cell Test is the only method approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

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The principle of analysis is that tumor cells are recognized by specific antibodies attached to iron microparticles. After that, the magnetic field collects these particles, and collected cells are determined through additional tests.
The system is capable of detecting a single tumor cell among several billion of normal blood cells.

– Testing profile
CTC testing is a diagnostic tool allowing for individual selection of antitumor therapy for a patient, as well as determining the relation to:

  • Sensitivity to certain drugs.
  • Development of resistance (resistant cell subtype).
  • Metastases.
  • Mechanism of self-renewal.
  • Rate of progression.
  • Survival of cancer cells.
  • Use of target therapy.

Determination of integral phosphorescence of serum proteins.
Diagnosis of precancerous conditions and early cancerous setting
The method was developed in collaboration with the Cambridge Medical Center (United Kingdom)

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The test report contains information about the following:

  • Presence or absence of oncological pathologies
  • Nature of the disease – benign or malignant
  • Stage of development
  • Localization of neoplasms
  • Presence of metastases in the body
  • Occurrence or presence of additional concomitant health issues
  • Probability of falling into the high-risk group and predisposition to oncological diseases

Accuracy of the method of 82.5%-95% is laboratory accuracy, which is comparable to biopsy.

MAIN ADVANTAGES OF THE METHODS

  • The most accurate genetic diagnostics of existing abnormalities that can develop into cancer
  • Diagnostics of the presence or absence of oncopathology on the basis of a single cancer cell
  • Confirmation of cancer diagnosis, if it was established for the first time
  • Determination of the disease stage
  • Presence of metastases in the body
  • Response to chemotherapy and selection of the most effective drug for chemotherapy
  • Advisability of chemotherapy

Before starting the stem cell therapy, we make sure to conduct cancer screening using blood test methods listed above.
Diagnostics can be carried out BEFORE THE PATIENT’S ARRIVAL TO UKRAINE. If the stem cell therapy is contraindicated, we help diagnose cancer and provide recommendations regarding oncopathology.



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