The global Circulating Tumor Cells market size was valued at USD 8.4 billion in 2020 is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% from 2021 to 2027. Owing to the non-invasiveness and advantages offered by circulating tumor cells, it is considered a promising tool in cancer diagnosis. In addition, technological advancements in chip technology are another key factor driving the market. Since the last several decades, extensive translational and clinical cancer research programs in the field of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are being conducted. The ongoing research on circulating tumor cells technology by several government bodies, such as the American Association of Cancer Research and the American Society of Clinical Oncology, to utilize circulating tumor cells as a surrogate marker for determination of cancer progression is expected to aid the growth of the market.
Several tumor markers that have been introduced in recent years can be used with companion diagnostics to monitor or diagnose a variety of cancers. High adoption of companion diagnostics in monitoring tumor eradication characteristics of cytotoxic drugs is among the few factors propelling the demand in this market. Key stakeholders are constantly engaged in endeavors aimed at developing CTC-based tests, which can prove helpful in cancer diagnosis.
Concerns related to the reliability and consistency of isolation as well as the relationship between quantitation of this biomarker and cancer prognosis are limiting factors affecting the clinical utility of this biomarker. Although there is a wide availability of several benchtop instruments for analysis and delineating circulating tumor cells from other blood cells, it is difficult to characterize these cells due to substantial phenotypes exhibited by these cells.
Furthermore, this biomarker has long been a subject of academic research, but the difficulty of centralizing the know-how and technologies has obscured the path to commercialization as many universities and private companies have developed their own expertise. However, recent years have seen a drive toward practical application, majorly due to a wave of acquisitions by large players centralizing the technology and numerous tie-ups with pharmaceutical companies to make progress toward forming a value chain and accelerate the market growth.
In 2020, the CTC detection and enrichment methods segment accounted for the largest revenue share of 65.8%. The availability of different methods for the enrichment of circulating tumor cells in cancer detection is expected to significantly impact segment growth over the forecast period. Moreover, positive or negative enrichment of circulating tumor cells based on biological properties is expected to hold significant potential for market growth.
An effective enrichment process helps in the enhancement of sensitivity, selectivity, and yield, thereby ensuring successful clinical translation of this field. Different detection techniques include magnetic beads-based enrichment, centrifugal force, filtration, and other physical properties such as size, density, deformity, and electric charges.
Advancements in technologies such as immunofluorescence, NGS, FISH, and qPCR are anticipated to drive the clinical utility of these cells, and thus accelerating revenue growth for CTC analyses. Several companies are investing in the development of products that help in CTC analysis and downstream assays. For instance, Vortex Biosciences offers various CTC analysis products, including immunofluorescence, cytopathology, cytogenetics (FISH), cell culture, and genomics.
The research segment dominated the market and captured the largest revenue share of 72.8% in 2020. Circulating tumor cells are regarded as a substrate of cancer metastasis. Circulating tumor cells enumeration remains largely a research tool. Recently, the focus has shifted toward circulating tumor cells characterization and isolation, which can provide significant opportunities in predictive testing research.
This arena has significantly improved cancer studies, thus, products offered in the market are primarily designed to be used within research settings. Some key products that have contributed to the large share of research settings are Parsortix Technology, Target Selector Platform, Apostream, Celsee PREP 400, IsoFlux CTC system, DEPArray System, VTX-1, and AdnaTest.
Currently, CTC-based screening and monitoring methods are at the nascent stage. A substantial number of commercial liquid biopsy tests are based on cell-free DNA (cfDNA), which has hampered the clinical utility of these cells-based tests. The dominance of cfDNA over circulating tumor cells in cancer diagnosis has led to a less share of clinical application in the market. Nonetheless, the presence of circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream indicates a risk of metastatic spread and the existence of a tumor.
The devices or systems segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 42.8% in 2020. This can be attributed to the presence of a wide portfolio under this category coupled with upcoming advances with regard to microfluidics technology. The introduction of fabricated glass microchips to overcome the challenges and to increase technical completeness for mass production are expected to propel further growth in this segment.
The development of automated instruments that eliminates the use of additional blood collection tubes hampers the revenue growth of blood collection tubes. The reduction in costs is also observed as the transportation is free of the additional laboratory consumables and transfer tubes when the reagent-equipped tubes are used.
On the other hand, kits and reagents have also contributed significantly to the revenue due to the frequent purchase rate and high usage rate. Cancer cell lines have been tested by a group of researchers using kits offered in the space owing to ease-of-use and the resultant product of label-free viable cells that are subsequently used in downstream analysis.
The blood specimen segment dominated the market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 46.9% in 2020. A large concentration of these cells in blood samples as compared with other biospecimens is responsible for the largest penetration of this specimen type. Approaches for tumor cells identification in blood samples is considered important in current cancer research, as it aids in the prediction of prognosis and determination of the response to systemic chemotherapy. However, the use of whole blood as a specimen poses a challenge when combined with microfluidic technology.
Membrane clogging as a result of a high concentration of blood cells minimizes the applicability of whole blood samples in microfluidic-based circulating tumor cells enumeration. Devices with various pore shapes and sizes are anticipated to overcome this issue and drive segment growth in the coming years. Moreover, the development of fluid-assisted separation technology by Clinomics, a molecular laboratory based in Bloemfontein, Free State can be employed for efficient detection of these cells.
Over the past few years, a substantial number of research activities have been conducted on Disseminated Tumor Cells (DTCs), circulating tumor cells that reside in permissive target tissues, and the number of such research activities is expected to increase exponentially in the coming years. Moreover, the emergence of high throughput techniques has effectively accelerated the detection of genome variation among these cells, thereby driving the segment growth at a significant pace throughout the forecast period.
In 2020, North America dominated the Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) market and accounted for the largest revenue share of 51.2%. Advanced Cell Diagnostics; Apocell, Inc.; Aviva Biosciences; Biocept, Inc.; Biofluidica, Inc.; and CellTraffix, Inc are the key players operating in the region. These players are undertaking various strategies to enhance their market hold can be attributed to the large share of the U.S. market.
For instance, in November 2019, Biocept, Inc. launched the Target Selector pan-TRK assay to identify TRK proteins. This assay is based on the company’s circulating tumor cells platform to detect TRK gene alterations from the blood sample. Such initiatives have increased the availability of cost-effective, noninvasive biomarker tests for cancer detection in the country.
Furthermore, the presence of a population with high susceptibility to cancer, an increase in market penetration rates, and technologically advanced cancer care infrastructure are some of the key factors accounting for its large share. On the other hand, Asia Pacific is projected to grow at a lucrative rate due to high unmet diagnostic needs coupled with rapidly growing patient awareness with regard to early detection of cancer and risk assessment.
The market is consolidated with several emerging as well as established players. The market is witnessing high competition among both public and private firms. The players are adopting several measures to sustain market competition with the changing trends which exerts a positive impact on the overall market. The companies are collaborating with other market players to gain a competitive advantage in the space.
For instance, in November 2019, Biolidics Limited signed an agreement with Sysmex Corporation to develop a laboratory-developed test for the diagnosis of cancer. Since 2016, the companies collaborated for R&D of laboratory assays in this field by using ClearCell FX1 System along with Sysmex’s MI-FCM, a molecular imaging flow cytometer. This extension in collaboration helped the company expand its product portfolio. Some of the prominent players in the Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) market include:
Precision for Medicine
Fluxion Biosciences, Inc.
Greiner Bio One International GmbH
Canopus Bioscience Ltd.
Creativ MicroTech, Inc.
LungLife AI, Inc.
Menarini Silicon Biosystems
LineaRx, Inc. (Vitatex, Inc.)
STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.
Market size value in 2021
USD 9.3 billion
Revenue forecast in 2027
USD 18.3 billion
CAGR of 11.7% from 2021 to 2027
Base year for estimation
2018 - 2019
2021 - 2027
Revenue in USD Million and CAGR from 2021 to 2027
Revenue forecast, company share, competitive landscape, growth factors, and trends
Technology, application, product, specimen, region
North America; Europe; Asia Pacific; Latin America; Middle East & Africa
U.S.; Canada; Germany; U.K.; France; Spain; Italy; China; Japan, India, South Korea, Singapore, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, UAE
QIAGEN; Bio-Techne Corporation; Precision for Medicine; AVIVA Biosciences; BIOCEPT, Inc.; BioCEP Ltd.; Fluxion Biosciences, Inc.; Greiner Bio One International GmbH; Ikonisys Inc.; Miltenyi Biotec; IVDiagnostics; BioFluidica; Canopus Bioscience Ltd.; Biolidics Limited; Creativ MicroTech, Inc.; LungLife AI, Inc.; Epic Sciences; Rarecells Diagnostics; ScreenCell; Menarini Silicon Biosystems; LineaRx, Inc. (Vitatex, Inc.); Sysmex Corporation; STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.
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This report forecasts revenue growth at global, regional, and country levels and provides an analysis of the latest industry trends in each of the sub-segments from 2018 to 2027. For the purpose of this study, Grand View Research has segmented the global Circulating Tumor Cells market on the basis of technology, application, product, specimen, and region:
Technology Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2027)
CTC Detection & Enrichment Methods
Size-based Separation (Label-free)
Density-based Separation (Label-free)
Combined Methods (Label-free)
CTC Direct Detection Methods
Application Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2027)
Clinical/ Liquid Biopsy
Screening and Monitoring
Cancer Stem Cell & Tumorogenesis Research
Product Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2027)
Kits & Reagents
Blood Collection Tubes
Devices or Systems
Specimen Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2027)
Other Body Fluids
Regional Outlook (Revenue, USD Million, 2018 - 2027)
Middle East & Africa
b. The global CTCs market size was estimated at USD 8.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach USD 9.3 billion in 2021.
b. The global CTCs market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7% from 2021 to 2027 to reach USD 18.3 billion by 2027.
b. CTC detection & enrichment methods dominated the CTCs market. This is attributable to the availability of different methods for the enrichment of circulating tumor cells in cancer detection.
b. Some key players operating in the CTCs market include Greiner Bio One International GmbH; QIAGEN; Bio-Techne Corporation; Menarini Silicon Biosystems; Sysmex Corporation; and Biocept, Inc.
b. Key factors that are driving the CTCs market growth include rising cancer prevalence, increasing preference for non-invasive cancer diagnosis, and technological advancements in CTC isolation and analysis.
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