Cancer and Circulating Tumor Cells

Cell and Cellular Division

The Cell is the basic building block of the human body and there are trillions of cells in the human body.

Cells have the unique characteristic of replicating itself via cell division and propagating to perform other critical functions for human survival.

The cells also have a function which tells them when to stop dividing and undergo a process called Apoptosis (cellular death). This way the body clears the old cells and new cells are generated every day.

Normal Cell

Tumor and Angiogenesis


Due to various factors such as pollution, poor diet, smoking, radiation etc, some normal cells undergo mutation in a process known as carcinogenesis to become cancer cells. These cancer cells grow abnormally and indefinitely unlike a normal cell. These cancer cells then congregate to form a mass known as Tumor.

These tumors survive by creating new blood vessels (for oxygen and nutrient supply) in a process known as Angiogenesis.

Cancer Metastasis.


The tumor is a mass of cancer cells from which some cells try to move away and invade the body via the circulatory system. These cells enter and circulate in the blood stream via a process known as Intravasation. These cells are known as Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC).

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) have the ability to also get out of the blood stream via Extravasation. Thus, cancers cells can travel from one tissue/organ to another and potentially form a new tumor in the invaded tissue/organ.

This process is known as metastasis and it is responsible for 90% of cancer related deaths worldwide.

Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC).

Circulating Tumor Cells

Each gram of tumor tissue sheds upto 1 million cancer cells into the blood stream each day.

These Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) serve as seeds for growth of additional tumors (metastasis) in vital distal organs.

There is a positive correlation between CTC number and the clinical status of the cancer.

OncoDiscover® Liquid Biopsy Test allows for regular monitoring of disease progression and can serve as an early indicator for relapse.

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