Dr. Howard Scher from MSKCC on Using the Circulating Tumor Cells Test
Howard I. Scher, MD, chief of the Genitourinary Oncology Service at the Sidney Kimmel Center for Urologic and Prostate Cancers at Memorial Sloan-Kettering, lead author of the COU-AA-301 trial that investigated circulating tumor cells (CTC), describes using the CTC test; a blood test designed to assess the prognosis of patients with metastatic cancer.
Dr. Scher says one of the reasons they were able to use the test in the trial was because samples could be processed up to 72 hours after the blood is drawn. They got all samples from North America sent to Memorial Sloan-Kettering, but there are also several reference laboratories that can perform the test. Some hospitals that don't see a lot of patients may not want to invest in the technology on their own, but it can be sent to reference laboratories and be performed, and have the results be available.