Why does X-ZELL focus on atypical cell detection?
Atypical morphological features are well-known characteristics of cancer cells and a cornerstone of cytopathological decision-making. By extracting single, atypical cells from blood, X-ZELL is taking a proven pathological principle to the next level and paving the way for next-generation cancer screening via existing medical infrastructure. For more information, see the Science section.
Why does X-ZELL target tCEC specifically?
Research has demonstrated that tumours as small as 1-2 mm aggressively grow blood vessels to survive. Shed directly from these volatile vessels, tCEC are the first type of atypical cells to circulate in the host blood. Even though laboratory teams have struggled to isolate tCEC in the past, there is a sizeable body of research confirming the cells’ diagnostic potential.
Why does X-ZELL not focus on ‘classic’ CTC?
Circulating tumour cells (CTC) are atypical cells that detach from the primary tumour site during metastasis. As most tumours only metastasise when they reach a certain size, CTC may not be useful as a diagnostic analyte. A research team led by Artur Kowalik recently concluded that, “despite the fact that nearly 150 years have passed since the first detection and description of CTC in human blood and enormous technological progress that has taken place in this field…few CTC detection methods have been approved for routine clinical use.”
Which role does ctDNA play for X-ZELL?
Genomic biomarkers such as circulating tumour DNA (ctDNA) are used in precision medicine to monitor and, in some cases, guide treatment. Quality and quantity of ctDNA vary among individuals and depend on the type, location and stage of the tumour, as well as the individual’s ethnicity. These factors may limit the clinical utility of next-generation sequencing as a diagnostic tool. Due to its low detection limit and compatibility with proven cytopathological principles, single-cell diagnostics may serve as a gateway technology to DNA analysis.