Circulating Tumor Cells: A Window to Understand Cancer Metastasis, Monitor and Fight Against Cancers

Authors

  • Lei Xu Centre for Molecular Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  • Jonathan Shamash Centre for Experimental Medicine, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK
  • Yong-Jie Lu Centre for Molecular Oncology, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-2279.2015.04.01.2

Keywords:

Circulating tumor cells, metastases, genetic alterations, biomarkers, prognosis, treatment response.

Abstract

 Metastases are the major culprits behind most cancer-related death and the central challenge to the eradication of a malignancy. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have the potential to help us understand how metastases form, to be utilized for cancer diagnosis and treatment selection and even to be targeted for cancer treatment. Many advances have been made regarding the isolation of these rare cells. However, several challenges and limitations in CTC analysis still exist. Multiple color immunofluorescence, genetic analysis (e.g. Fluorescence in situ Hybridization, microarray and next generation sequencing) and CTC culture will be effective tools to study CTCs and provide information on metastatic mechanism and clinical implication. In this review, we discuss the importance of CTC study in understanding cancer metastasis and their potential clinical application as biomarkers to predict cancer progression and treatment response, as well as the current situation for CTC isolation and analysis.

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2015-01-29

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Lei Xu, Jonathan Shamash, & Yong-Jie Lu. (2015). Circulating Tumor Cells: A Window to Understand Cancer Metastasis, Monitor and Fight Against Cancers. Journal of Cancer Research Updates, 4(1),  13–29. https://doi.org/10.6000/1929-2279.2015.04.01.2

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