Circulating Tumour Cells

TransFix stabilised blood is compatible with a range of methods for the isolation and analysis of circulating tumour cells (CTC). The number of CTC populations present in patient blood is very low, therefore the usefulness of CTC assessments depends upon accurate cell counts and the corresponding analysis of molecular targets.

Circulating Tumour Cell TransFix/EDTA Vacuum Blood Collection Tubes (CTC-TVTs) are 9ml evacuated tubes prefilled with TransFix. CTC-TVTs are specifically designed for the optimal collection and stabilisation of CTCs in whole human blood. They allow stabilisation of CTCs for up to 5 days immediately preventing the degradation of CTCs and CTC antigens, allowing time to isolate and analyse these rare cells.

CTC Tubes are for Research Use Only.

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Circulating Tumour Cells (CTC)

Benefits of CTC-TVTs

  • Easy to use – just collect blood and mix by inversion
  • Improved cell stability facilitating recovery of rare cells
  • Immediate Stabilisation at the time point of venepuncture
  • Published examples show compatibility with a range of CTC isolation and analysis techniques:
    • Size exclusion filtration and by cellular surface markers
    • Microscopic analysis and enumeration of CTCs in metastatic breast and lung cancer patients
    • Analysis of CTCs through high-resolution image flow cytometry
    • Cell sorting and mutation analysis
    • mRNA extraction

Product Codes

CTC-TVT-09-02 2 pack of 9ml CTC Vacuum Tubes
CTC-TVT-09-50 50 pack of 9ml CTC Vacuum Tubes

Research Use Only


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  • Assessment of circulating tumor cells with a novel, filtration-based method, in a phase IIIb multicenter study for...

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  • VyCAP's Puncher Technology for Single Cell Identification, Isolation, and Analysis

    This paper focuses on the validation of the Vycap method for isolation of individual CTC's. These were analyses downstream for DNA. The authors used TransFix blood collection tubes (CTC-TVTs) to allow VyCAP single CTC isolation for up to 48 h after blood draw and preserve cell morphology while the cells do still retain a certain flexibility that allows efficient separation of the excess leukocytes, while keeping the CTC in the pore at the bottom of the microwell.
    M. Stevens, L. Oomens, J. Broekmaat, J. Weersink, F. Abali, J. Swennenhuis, A. Tibbe | 2018 | Cytometry Part A, 93(12); 1255-1259
  • High-resolution imaging for the detection and characterisation of circulating tumour cells from patients with oesophageal, hepatocellular, thyroid and ovarian cancers

    The purpose of this study was to develop and validate a novel, widely applicable method for detection and characterisation of circulating tumour cells from 4 tumour types. Blood samples were collected in TransFix collection tubes and stained for immunofluorescence by the following membrane antibodies and nuclear stains: EpCAM, cytokeratins 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13 and 18, survivin and CD45, and DAPI or DRAQ5. Circulating tumour cells were enriched using an EasySep human CD45 depletion kit, and were analysed using an ImageStream X Flow cytometer.
    B. M. Dent, L. F. Ogle, R. L. O'Donnell, N. Hayes, U. Malik, N. J. Curtin, A. V. Boddy, E. R. Plummer, R. J. Edmondson, H. L. Reeves, F. E. B. May, D. Jamieson | 2016 | International Journal of Cancer 138(1): 206-216
  • Development of a method to measure acetylated histone H4 in the nuclei of circulating myeloid cells as a surrogate tissue for the pharmacodynamics of HDAC inhibitors in the treatment of solid tumors

    This conference abstract details the development and validation of an assay to measure the proportion of myeloid cells in peripheral blood with nuclei localised acetylated Histone H4 detectable by immunofluorescence and imaging flow cytometry. Blood samples treated with the potential anti-cancer agent sodium valproate were then stabilised in TransFix, stained by antiacH4 and DAPI then analsysed by an Imagestream MkII imaging flow cytometer.
    J. David, W. Wong, G. Veal | 2015 | AACR Cancer Res 75(15 Suppl):Abstract nr 5374
  • Detection and Characterization of Circulating Tumor Associated Cells in Metastatic Breast Cancer

    This paper describes the use of the Screencell method of size-exclusion isolation of CTCs, circulating tumour cell clusters (CTC clusters), CTCs of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cancer associated macrophage-like cells (CAMLs). Blood samples collected in TransFix tubes and analysed within 72 hours. Cytological Analysis was performed by immuno?uorescence staining of cytokeratins (CK-8, 18 and 19), DAPI, CD45 for CTCs, and EMT-CTCs were stained for Vimentin and N-Cadherin. Cell sorting was performed by the DEPArray™ system. TP53 and ESR1 Mutations in CTCs were analysed by Sanger sequencing.
    Z. Mu, N. Benali-Furet, G. Uzan, A. Znaty, Z. Ye, C. Paolillo, C. Wang, L. Austin, G. Rossi, P. Fortina, H. Yang, M. Cristofanilli | 2016 | Int. J. Mol. Sci. 17(10): 1665
  • A Novel Strategy for Detection and Enumeration of Circulating Rare Cell Populations in Metastatic Cancer Patients Using Automated Microfluidic Filtration and Multiplex Immunoassay

    In this study, the performance of a novel approach for detection and enumeration of multiple rare cell populations was evaluated in the blood of metastatic breast and lung cancer patients using an automated microfluidic filtration and multiplex immunoassay strategy. Different circulating rare cell populations were detected and enumerated, including circulating tumour cells (CTCs), circulating mesenchymal cells (CMCs), circulating endothelial cells (CECs), and putative circulating stem cells (CSCs). Simultaneous assessment of CTCs, CMCs, CSCs and CECs may provide new tools to study mechanisms of disease progression and treatment response/resistance. The highly controlled filtration process and the multi-step staining parameters were optimised to minimise the detection of false positives in healthy donor blood. Use of TransFix®, along with controlled shipping and storage conditions contributed to the high rate of reportable results (98%). Blood was collected into tubes containing K3EDTA and 0.45mL TransFix® in customised TransFix/EDTA Vacuum Blood Collection Tubes (CTC-TVT-09-50).
    M. J. M. Magbanua, M. Pugia, J. S. Lee, M. Jabon, V. Wang, M. Gubens, K. Marfurt, J. Pence, H. Sidhu, A. Uzgiris, H. S. Rugo, J. W. Park | 2015 | PLoS ONE 10(10): e0141166
  • 4EVER: Assessment of circulating tumor cells with a novel, filtration-based method, in a phase IIIb multicenter study for postmenopausal, HER2-negative, estrogen receptor-positive, advanced breast cancer patients

    The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTC's) has been shown to be of diagnostic relevance for patients with early and advanced breast cancer (BC) The usefulness of CTC assessments depends upon accurate cell counts and the corresponding analysis of molecular targets. Patient blood samples were preserved using TransFix vacuum blood collection tubes and CTC's were detected by image analytics after fluorescence scanning microscopy. The clinical trial is ongoing.
    P. A. Fasching et al | 2013 | J Clin Oncol 31 (suppl; abstract 591)
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