What is CTC?

According to WHO, cancer is the second common cause of deaths worldwide, linked to 8.8 million deaths in 2015. There were more than 14 million new cancer cases in 2012 globally; lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancers being the leading ones with around 6 million incidences[1]. 16 million people live with one of these four cancer types, and 1.5 million deaths occur per year[2]. 90% of human cancer deaths are caused by metastasis[3], therefore rapid detection and identification of metastasis is particularly important in cancer treatment. 

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are the most informant bio-markers for cancer metastasis, since they are cancerous cells detached from a primary tumor site and enter the bloodstream. As they have the potential to stem for a new tumor formation in a separate tissue, their detection in blood is critical to assess the metastatic progression and to guide the line of the therapy. Early diagnosis of metastatic progression has uttermost importance to increase the survival rate and shorten the treatment period. Hence, quantitative real-time assessment of CTCs routinely in metastatic cancer patients in a noninvasive manner is crucial to assess the efficacy of therapy. However, the extreme rarity of CTCs in blood (typically <102 within 1010 peripheral blood cells/ml) stands as a big challenge for rapid and reliable CTC detection.

tagCTC is a stand-alone and low-cost system, composed of a small foot-print analysis unit with a future-proof design for expandability and plug-and-play disposable microfluidic sterile cartridges housing the cascaded lab-on-a-chip device and pre-filled containers with the process-specific solvents/chemicals.

tagCTC system is positioned as a high performance, high throughput, cost effective, and user-friendly system with USPs: High recovery rate & purity (cascaded lab-on-a-chipplatform); Real time operation (online electrical counting); Preserved cell viability; and Portability (Small foot-print, lightweight analysis unit). 


[1] Circulating Tumor Cells Market Analysis by Technology, by Application, And Segment Forecasts To 2022, Grand View Research report, January 2016.

[2] International Agency for Research on Cancer, IARC, GLOBOCAN 2012: Estimated Cancer Incidence, Mortality, and Prevalence Worldwide in 2012.

[3] Patrick Mehlen & Alain Puisieux, “Metastasis: a question of life or death,” Nature Reviews Cancer 6, 449-458, June 2006.