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Robert McCormack Explains the CellSearch CTC Test

Robert McCormack, PhD
Published Online: Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Robert McCormack, PhD, head, Technology Innovation, Janssen Diagnostics, LLC, explains the circulating tumor cell test CellSearch.

McCormack says CellSearch is a technology that captures, enumerate, and characterize circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood in patients with metastatic cancer. The technology is enabled by magnets and uses “positive selection.” McCormack explains that in “positive selection,” a specific antibody is selected and bound to an iron particle. This antibody captures epithelial cells in the blood, a magnetic field is applied and the cells are pulled to the sidewall of the vessel. Once the cells are captured, McCormack says, agents are added to identify the cells. Reagents are used to enumerate the epithelial cells and to differentiate these cells from white cells.

This technology is available in reference labs and individual labs. Janssen sells the technology to laboratories and it is available in Europe, the United States, Japan, China and Australia.

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