The blood test allows us to detect cells, which have left the tumor and entered the bloodstream.
Some of these so-called circulating (epithelial) tumor cells (CETCs / CTCs) may be responsible for metastases (metastatic spread) occurring, and thus responsible for further progression of the disease.
Using the diagnostics to detect and analyze cell count, the extent to which the treatment is proven successful can be monitored. In order to get an accurate assessment, the number of the circulating cells is determined before the therapy starts, which are then compared with the number of cells over the course of therapy. After this assessment is made, the result gives an indication of whether or not the cancer cells are being destroyed by the therapy, i.e. whether or nor the patient is responding to the treatment. If there is an indication that the patient doesn’t respond to the ongoing therapy, there is a possibility of testing what substances can affect the cancer cells and thus the treatment plan could be changed accordingly.