Advantages of Maintrac®

Advantages of Maintrac® over other circulating cell count methods



1. Maintrac® is not intended to be used as a diagnostic or screening approach. It may be used for tracking the progression or remission of tumours of epithelial origin through its detection of circulating epithelial tumour cells (CETCs) in the blood. The approach has multiple applications, including helping to inform clinical judgment in the provision of functional or integrative support for patients or clients. If Maintrac® to be used to inform cancer treatment directly, or to monitor the interaction of chemotherapeutic agents with CETCs or CSCs (circulating stem cells), the tests must be overseen by a registered medical practitioner or oncologist.

2. Cancer diagnosis, treatment or advice in connection with treatment can only be given by a registered medical practitioner or oncologist.

  1. Scientifically tested and validated: There have been 13 clinical trials concerning Maintrac® with an additional five underway that have been published in high-quality peer-reviewed journals, several with over 600 patients. There are over 100 available scientific publications on Maintrac®  that may be reviewed on the Maintrac® site in Germany.
  2. Clinical applications: A wide range of clinical applications have been established for the core method that relies on the real-time measurement of measure epithelial cell adhesion molecules (EpCAM). These applications have been established through more than 15 years of data collection and over 100 publications. The methodology is regularly presented at major oncology conferences in Europe (European Society for Medical Oncology) and the USA (e.g., the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium).
  3. Accuracy: Maintrac methodology has the highest sensitivity for detecting potential circulating tumour cells as it does not engage in isolation/enrichment techniques, allowing all relevant cells to be measured. Magnetic separation for example, in the CellSearch method, may lead to an extensive loss of specific cells, as supported by various reports (e.g. Coumans et al. 2010).
    [Pachmann, O. Camara, T. Kroll, M. Gajda, A. K. Gellner, J. Wotschadlo and I. B. Runnebaum, Efficacy Control of Therapy Using Circulating Epithelial Tumor Cells (CETC) as Liquid Biopsy: Trastuzumab in HER2/neuPositive Breast Carcinoma, Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology, Vol. 137, No. 9, 2011, pp. 1317-132]
    Enrichment requires sufficiently high expression of the EpCAM molecule for cell capture, which may lead to huge losses of the respective cells.
    [Z. Panteleakou, P. Lembessis, A. Sourla, N. Pissimissis, A. Polyzos, C. Deliveliotis and M. Koutsilieris, Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells in Prostate Cancer Patients: Methodological Pitfalls and Clinical Relevance, Molecular Medicine, Vol. 15, No. 3-4, 2009, pp. 101-114.].
  4. Testing of treatment substances (chemotherapy and natural): Testing of different treatment substances is done only on live CTCs and measures the rate of apoptosis for any substance requested. Studies of the chemo-sensitivity tests with the Maintrac® method have been published clearly showing the correlation of the in-vitro tests with the patients’ actual progress over years.
  5. Flexibility: Maintrac® allows individualised testing of any single, multiple or combined treatment substances. Registered health professionals [medical practitioners] can also provide the laboratory with one or more specific agents to evaluate performance and inform selectio It is important to note that only agents with an apoptotic effect can be evaluated, as apoptosis is evaluated, not other processes, such as immune modulation.
  6. Economic: Testing of circulating cancer cells is highly cost efficient compared with most other monitoring methods and therefore offers a viable means of tracking progress.
  7. Fully accredited: The medical laboratory (Simfo GmbH) and the Maintrac® testing system are EU accredited via the German accreditation body, Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle (DAkkS), according to ISO 15189:2022.
  8. Ongoing academic research partnerships: The Simfo laboratory routinely collaborates with universities, including the University of Heidelberg, and maintains an ongoing programme of publishing its research findings in high-quality peer reviewed journals and delivering papers at international medical and scientific conferences.
  9. EU recognition: In June 2017, the scientific umbrella for the Maintrac platform  was invited to present its liquid biopsy technique at the BIO International Convention at the European Commission, having been recognised as one of the 15 most innovative European companies.
  10. Stem cell measurement: The Maintrac®system can measure cancer stem cells (“spheroid cells”), which are known to be tumourigenic and have the ability to differentiate into diverse cell types.
  11. Customer support: A support service is available with training on clinical applications of Maintrac®. Medical practitioners can arrange consultations (at no charge) with Maintrac® laboratory specialists to help interpret test results.
  12. Training: Courses are available to help practitioners understand more about the technique and its wide applications, as well as guidance on the selection and interpretation of assays and results.
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