A tumour consists of several subsets of cells, each with different features. One of these subsets – called cancer stem cell-like cells, or tumour-initiating cells – drives how the disease progresses, whether a tumour is resistant to treatment, and the likelihood of relapse.
The aim of cancer treatment is to destroy cancer cells. When a patient is treated the majority of the cancer cells are destroyed, but some may still remain, in remission.
While a patient is in remission, the remaining cancer stem cells that survive treatment may spread to other parts of the body. So doctors need to detect, discover and explore the features of the remaining cancer stem cells. Our tests are used to detect in which cases the [remaining] cancer cells may respond to treatment. This is to reduce the risk of relapse, and have ways to treat these cancer cells in the future.