ISET® – Isolation by SizE of Tumor cells

The metastatic process

Cancer is the second cause of death globally, accounting for nearly 9 millions deaths in 2017. It is estimated that metastasis are the primary cause for 90% of all cancer related deaths.

In order to successfully complete the metastatic cascade, cancer cells must detach form the primary tumor, intravasate into the circulatory system,  elude the immune system control, extravasate at distant vascular beds and finally invade and proliferate in distant organs.

CTC play a key role in the metastatic process, and for this reason they represent  a powerful tool  for early cancer detection, non-invasive theranostic and the study of invasive potential of cancer. The most challenging goal in the CTC field is their unbiased and reliable detection due to: CTC complexity, heterogeneity and rarity. The terms CCC (Circulating Cancer Cells) and CCM (Circulating Cancer Microemboli) have been introduced by Pr Paterlini-Bréchot in 2014 (Paterlini-Bréchot, Cancer Microenvironment 2014) to designate CTC and CTM extracted from blood without any bias and loss and diagnostically identified by cytopathology.

CTC isolation challenges

The ISET® Technology

The ISET® technology is an easy to use method provided by Rarecells Diagnostics. The system (device and consumables) extracts rare Circulating Tumor Cells (CTC) and Circulating Tumor Microemboli (CTM) from the blood with unparalleled sensitivity and maintains their morphological and structural integrity. Intact CTC and CTM can be isolated in a fixed or live form and be further exposed to an in vitro diagnostic examination (eg. cytopathology and/or immunolabelling) and other characterization methods such as molecular DNA and RNA analyses. The ISET® technology also allows to collect plasma for cfDNA and exosome studies and CTC/CTM without any loss.

Behind the ISET® technology are years of research leading to the development of a sophisticated system that relies on 30 different parameters to guarantee its sensitivity and specificity while remaining very easy to use.

ISET® technology main characteristics:

  • Unbiased label-free CTC enrichment of all type of CTC
  • Fixed and Live cells enrichment
  • High blood volume processing with high quality of filtration
  • Ultra rapid processing time with no additional steps required
  • High sensitivity (96%) and specificity ( 98%)
  • Open system for a full-range downstream analyses: cytopathological staining, ICC, IF, molecular analyses (bulk and single-cell)
  • Easy-to-use, ergonomics device.
  • CE  IVD certified, extensive quality controls.

ISET® is rapid, safe, easy to use, reliable and efficient, with the following specifications: 

Unique Unbiased isolation of intact CCC and CCM from all types of cancer.
Very high sensitivity Ability to find 1 tumor cell in 10mL of blood.
Diagnostic specificity Through cytopathological analysis, a pathologist can assess the presence of intact CCC and CCM.
High quality Unmatched by other filtration methods. Operated by 30 parameters to insure high quality blood filtering.
High enriching capability Isolation of both epithelial and mesenchymal tumor cells and possibility to count them.
Reliability Preservation of the morphological integrity of CCC and CCM and count them precisely by distinguish them from non-tumor circulating epithelial cells spread from organs.
Flexibility Able to treat blood volumes ranging from 10 µl to 10 ml and perform multiplexing of characterization methods (i.e. multiple analyses performed on the same blood sample).
Easy CTC Storage


Possibility to store CCC and CCM for at least 9 years after capture and develop a biobank for their further characterization.
Immunomolecular characterization CCC isolated by ISET® can be fully characterized using immunological, protein, DNA and RNA molecular analysis.

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