The Horizon 2020 project DeteCTCs initiates clinical study for development of next generation CTC-based cancer diagnostics

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Stockholm, Sweden. May 24, 2022. iCellate Medical AB, in association with the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein and QIAGEN, Inc. are proud to announce that the clinical study portion of their joint project DeteCTCs, subsidized by the EU Horizon 2020 programme, has included its first study subject.

We are excited to announce the enrollment of the first subject into the clinical study portion of the DeteCTCs project, to accelerate the continued development of iCellate’s next-generation CellMate® in vitro diagnostic platform. Over two years, this study will enroll approximately 260 subjects with breast, ovarian, or pancreatic cancer undergoing best practice treatment for their respective cancer diagnoses, as well as 50 healthy control subjects. Liquid biopsy as well as tumor samples will be collected at the Institute of Experimental Cancer Research (University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein & Kiel University ) and at the Department of Gynecology (University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein) and will be analyzed by iCellate. The study is longitudinal, analyzing and characterizing circulating tumor cells (CTC’s) at diagnosis, start of therapy, and end of therapy. Samples will be analyzed for the presence of CTC’s, phenotypic biomarkers, and CTC genomic biomarkers.

“We’ve been hard at work developing our next-generation CTC platform to have increased sensitivity and specificity, and we’re very excited to study its performance in the DeteCTCs project,” says Helena Silva Cascales, Project Lead at iCellate Medical AB.

The DeteCTCs project is a collaboration between iCellate Medical AB, QIAGEN, and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein with the aim to accelerate the development of iCellate's CellMate® liquid biopsy platform for detection and characterization of CTC’s in breast, ovarian, and pancreatic cancers. As part of the project a reagent toolbox and bioinformatic pipeline for CTC single cell genomic analysis will be developed in order to classify tumors according to genomic profiles.

“We are proud to start this very important study to further expand the clinical applications for iCellate’s CTC platform CellMate®. This study is the first step towards comprehensive cell-based early cancer detection, individualized treatment prediction, and cell-based treatment monitoring for these cancer diagnoses,” says Åsa Rosenquist, VP R&D at iCellate Medical.

About iCellate:

iCellate is a Swedish life science company founded in 2011 with its laboratory and office located in Stockholm. iCellate develops cancer diagnostic services across the cancer lifecycle, from hereditary cancer risk (GeneMate®) to early detection, treatment prediction and treatment monitoring. The technologies are based on research from the Karolinska Institute in collaboration with the Karolinska University Hospital and the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

About Department of Gynecologic Oncology:

The Department of Gynecolgic Oncology at the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein, Campus Kiel is a certified Gynecologic Cancer and Breast Cancer Center treating over 100 gynecological and over 400 breast cancer cases each year. Its main research focus is translational research and clinical studies phase II-IV.

About IET:

The Institute for Experimental Cancer Research (IET) is an institution of the Medical Faculty of Kiel University and the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein Campus Kiel. The IET with its different research groups is a central interface in oncology between experimental and translational research as well as between laboratory and clinic. Moreover, IET hosts the oncological Biobank of the Comprehensive Cancer Center (BMB-CCC) comprising tissue samples and liquid biopsies from ~ 6500 patients along with comprehensive clinical data.


QIGEN is the global market leader in molecular diagnostics of cancer. QIAGEN are developing and providing oncology product in Next Generation Sequencing (NGS), including software for bioinformatic analyses. Furthermore, the company has unique assets for analysis and clinical interpretation of genetic variants in cancer patient samples.