Maintrac Cancer Test
Maintrac is a method of tracking potential cancer cells circulating in the blood that has been used for many years in Germany and internationally, and is used by select cancer-literate clinicians in the UK.
The three main elements of the test available are:
1. Cell count
This is the number of circulating epithelial tumour cells in 1 ml of the patient’s blood. This can be measured regularly, and used as a tracker for whether the figure is rising or falling, which studies have shown correlates well with actual disease activity.
This allows for chemotherapy planned for use or being used to be tested on the epithelial cells (potential tumour cells) found in the patient’s blood.
The rate of cell death is a good marker, backed by study results and indicates whether the particular chemotherapy agent measured is likely to be the most effective option on that individual’s cancer cells. If not, other treatment options can be discussed with the patient’s oncologist and tested. This enables a much more personalised approach to chemotherapy, avoiding what may be many months of time spent using a suboptimal agent in the specific patient’s case.
3. Cytotoxicity of natural agents
We usually recommend a list of agents to test, or we can send in natural agents (water soluble substances) that the patient is either already using or that are being considered to see how strong their cell-killing effect is on the patient’s own circulating epithelial tumour cells. Combination remedies can also be tested.
The results are then given as a percentage, making it easy for the therapist/patient to identify the most effective agents. This helps to minimise budget on multiple integrative natural therapies at high doses.
4. Other tests
Many additional tests are also possible, such as seeing whether the circulating cancer cells captured from a patient’s blood develop into cancer stem cells – the most pernicious type of cell for metastatic activity.
Another of the multiple further tests available is to see whether a triple negative cancer has remained negative along all three dimensions. It is not well recognised that the nature of tumour cells can change over time. If for instance oestrogen-negative cells have become oestrogen-positive, this opens up new therapy options.