Once you have completed the enrollment process we usually require a Circulating Tumor Cell( CTC) assay of your blood. The CTC assay will completed by a molecular laboratory in Germany. The CTC process begins with arranging for an order for you to obtain a CTC assay from your doctor or an ISCA associate physician. Once this is completed you will need to have your blood drawn at a medical laboratory somewhere in your area. The ISCA patient advocate assigned to assist you will help in locating a local lab and will also arrange to have a kit mailed to you so a sample of your blood can be mailed to the laboratory in Germany. The blood kit we will have mailed to you will contain instructions on how the blood draw is to be made and also contains other information that will be needed by the molecular lab.
When your blood has been drawn you will need to mail it via International Air to the molecular lab. Again, your ISCA advocate will arrange for mailing you the necessary paperwork to mail your kit and assist you through the mailing process. Once the molecular oncology laboratory receives the kit they will conduct a molecular analyses to determine if you have any circulating tumor cells. If CTC's are identified they will then determine the expression of drug targets and chemo-resistance markers in the tumor cells. Other specific information will be used as a guide to determine what therapies will most likely be effective.
The analysis takes anywhere from two to four weeks and is provided to you, at cost (in Euros). A report on their findings and recommendations will be issued to you and ISCA upon completion of their work.
Tissue or other samples
We may also require your diagnostic pathologist to forward your surgical tissue samples (contained in formalin blocks only) to one of our Pathologists for comprehensive analysis. The final report will reveal potential therapeutic targets. Other samples might include urine, lavages, or sputum.