New Test Might Expand Ability to Find Tumor Cells in Blood


A professor at University of Washington School of Medicine teamed up with Seattle biotech company RareCyte, Inc. to create a blood test that measures a patient’s tumor cell count.

Dr. Daniel Sabath, professor of laboratory medicine and pathology, hopes to begin conducting clinical trials with the blood test after a recent study demonstrated its success. The FDA has approved a similar blood test called CELLSEARCH, the only such system on the market. Sabath and his team believe their own test can provide more accurate and inclusive results.

“If there is one cell in a sample, we can find it,” Sabath said. “Up until now, this has been a research tool, but we want to plug it into clinical trials and show how it can improve patient care.”