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    Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) Analysis

    NIIM is pleased to offer CTC analysis service, using the ISET (Rarecells, France) system, in our NIIM laboratory.

    What is Circulating Tumour Cell (CTC) analysis?

    • CTCs are Circulating Tumour Cells in the blood
    • CTCs provide a biomarker for early cancer prognosis and treatment effectiveness
    • The number of CTC or CTC count indicates the risk of malignancy or the stage of cancer
    • NIIM’s CTC Analysis method is well established overseas and validated by substantial research
    • NIIM conducts the ISET®-CTC test as part of a clinical study. This study has been approved by an NHMRC registered ethics committee, and is registered on the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry.
    • In March 2017, NIIM has conducted over 900 tests.

    To make a booking for the CTC Test, please contact the NIIM Clinic at (03) 9804 0646

    For more information contact the NIIM Research Director Dr Karin Ried on:
    P (03) 9912 9545 E


    CTC Test Request Forms

    Please be aware there are seperate Victorian and Interstate request forms, Interstate request forms include an additional express shipping and handling cost.

    Victoria Patients Form - Download Victorian CTC Test request form here

    Interstate Patients Form - Download Interstate (Non-Victorian) CTC Test request form here

    From 1st of June 2016 the cost of the CTC test at NIIM is $850.
    Please note there's an additional shipping fee of $100 for interstate kits.


    Some FACTS about the ISET-CTC Test:

    1. FACT 1: The ISET-CTC tests can detect Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) in all cancer types, including solid tumours and blood type cancers.
    2. FACT 2: The ISET-CTC test can detect small cell cancer cells. ISET-CTC (Isolation of Epithelial Tumour Cells by Size) testing by microfiltration can detect cancer cells of all sizes. Cancer cells usually are larger than 8 microns (the ISET filter hole size), including solid tumour cells of 11.7-23.8 microns, small-cell type cancers (e.g. small cell lung carcinoma of 7.2-10 microns) and blood type cancers (e.g. leukemia cells of 8.9-15.3 microns).​​
    3. FACT 3: The ISET-CTC can detect Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) independent of the presence of Epithelial Cell Adhesion Molecule (EpCAM) markers.
      - Some tumour cells do not have EpCAM markers, e.g. blood type tumours.
      - Tumour cells consistently undergo change and may lose EpCAM markers over time.
    4. FACT 4: The ISET-CTC testing can distinguish between malignant Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) and benign Circulating Epithelial Cells (CEC).

    References: Paterlini–Brechot P. Circulating Tumour Cells: Who is the Killer? Cancer Microenviron 2014;7,161-176.; Vona G et al. Isolation by size of epithelial tumor cells : a new method for the immunomorphological and molecular characterization of circulatingtumor cells. Am J Pathol 2000;156(1):57-63. Harouaka RA et al. Circulating Tumour Cell enrichment based on physical properties. J Lab Autom 2013;18(6),1-21.


    Download the NIIM CTC Brochure