Immunicon Corporation was recently issued clearance by the FDA of the CellSearch™ Circulating Tumor Cell Kit for monitoring patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Using the CellSearch™ kit, samples of a patient’s blood is processed to occupy and count CTC’s. The company saw a rise of 50.00% as trading began this morning.
The kit is now cleared for three of the four most prevalent cancers. Originally cleared in January of 2004, the kit was then predicting progression-free and overall survival in patients with metastatic breast cancer, and expanded after to include monitoring. In November of 2007, the kit was cleared by the FDA for monitoring metastatic colorectal cancer.
The impact of the recent clearance will have an enormous impact on metastatic prostate cancer, since the kit takes a CTC count which at any time during treatment of metastatic disease allows assessment of patient prognosis and predicts survival. Changes in CTC count can be determined in 3-5 weeks, rather than in the 8-12 weeks required for imaging studies such as CT scans. The most important factor of the CellSearch™ kit is that physicians will now have a clearer prognosis of the disease’s progression; thereby guiding more informed patient care decisions earlier.
Byron D. Hewett, CEO and President of Immunicon Corporation, said, “Because the three pivotal trials demonstrated that the CellSearch™ test predicts survival in prostate, breast and colorectal cancers, circulating tumor cell testing should become standard of care in the management of patients with metastatic disease. We estimate the market size for testing in these three cancers is almost $1 billion. More importantly, oncologists can use the results to make better-informed treatment decisions and improve patient care for three of the top carcinomas.”
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