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CTC's - A Dynamic View of Cancer Progression

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are seeds for metastasis, which is responsible for 90% of cancer-related deaths. CTCs can be detected in peripheral blood using a simple, convenient, readily available non-invasive procedure.


Why did HistoGeneX choose the RareCyte platform?

  • The technology is based on an unbiased search of CTCs
  • The CTCs are morphologically confirmed
  • Immunophenotyping and target detection are straightforward
  • CTCs can be picked off the glass slide and subjected to genomic analyses

Preparation of Slides from Whole Blood


CTCs are challenging to identify and characterize. HistoGeneX has implemented a complete platform of RareCyte’s instrumentation and consumables that provide an highly sensitive, accurate, simple, repeatable and scalable workflow from blood collection to CTC enumeration and biomarker identification

Features of the Slide Preparation Process:

  • Cell collection is based on density – independent of protein expression or cell size.
  • Cells for analysis are retrieved through a centrifugation process without manual operation – eliminating user error.
  • No wash steps are used, which greatly reduces the chance of cell loss during the collection process.

Morphological and Immunophenotypic Identification of CTCs


Prepared smears on slides can then be stained on an automated stainer, scanned and then analyzed by an imaging scientist

Candidate CTCs are identified by analyzing > 400 morphological cellular parameters and then compared to dynamic library of < 20,000 confirmed CTCs. This ranking algorithm reduces reviewer fatigue and analysis time. Immunophenotyping (PanCK, EPCam, CD45, DAPI) is completed with automated immunofluorescence assays.

Target Identification


Example of a CTC Cluster with Immunophenotype & Target Fluorescent Biomarkers

The 6 channel scanner allows for additional target identification. The reproducible automated immunostaining and CTC analyses enables use in large scale clinical trials.