Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) Trial

NIIM conducts the Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) Test as part of a clinical study.

The study has been approved by an NHMRC registered ethics committee, and is registered on the Australia New Zealand Clinical Trial Registry.

Published Results
Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC) Trial is ongoing.
The first published results are available at K Ried et al.  Asian Pac J Cancer Prev 18 (8), 2275-2285. 2017 Aug 27.

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
  • In August 2017, NIIM has conducted over 1,200 tests.
  • Some facts about ISET-CTC Test

Book a CTC Test

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

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.

Victorian Form – Download Victorian NIIM ISET CTC & Pathogen Test Request Form

Interstate Form – Download Interstate (Non-Victorian) NIIM ISET CTC & Pathogen Test Request Form

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.


For more information

Contact Nikolaj Travica or A/Prof Dr Karin Ried, Research Director and Principal Investigator

Nikolaj Travica
P: 03 9912 9544

A/Prof Dr Karin Ried
P: 03 9912 9545

Public Lecture with international guest speaker Prof Patrizia Paterlini
‘Cancer risk: Groundbreaking Blood Test allows early detection’ held on 2 Oct 2018 @ NIIM

A/Prof Karin Ried (Director of Research, NIIM):
“The ISET-CTC (Isolation of Circulating-Tumour-Cells from the blood) Test was developed by Professor Paterlini-Brechot in France about 20 years ago, is a cytology-based blood test using microscopy – a 100-year old clinically validated technique to identify cancer cells and used in oncology all around the world. This ISET-CTC test is superior in its sensitivity and specificity to identify cancer cells compared to other non-cytological Circulating Tumor Cell tests available anywhere in the world, evident in more than 80 peer-reviewed articles published worldwide. We at NIIM are the first Institute in Australia to have acquired the ISET-CTC technology and the lecture will outline the method and its applications.”

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.