Circulating Tumor Cells


CTC enrichment: methods and critical steps

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), cells that have detached from the primary tumor and entered the peripheral blood, are emerging as a significant source of genetic material for clinical guidance. However, the relative rarity of these cells, between 1–10 cells per 10 ml in most patients (1), makes it challenging to unlock their potential. Separating CTCs… Read article →


Molecular characterization of circulating tumor cells

Although circulating tumor cells (CTCs) hold a wealth of information, the only clinically approved use of CTCs is enumeration for the prediction of progression-free survival and overall survival. The use of CTCs for prognosis is groundbreaking, but specifically enriching and counting tumor cells does not fully exploit the information available in CTCs. A real‑world analogy… Read article →


CTCs and their central role in metastatic cascade, tumor dissemination and progression

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be detected from the peripheral blood of cancer patients, and are viewed as a unique “liquid biopsy” for cancer prognosis and diagnosis (1). Unlike other cancer biomarkers, CTCs represent a sampling of the patient’s primary tumor. Furthermore, CTCs play a crucial role in tumor dissemination and progression, and are widely… Read article →


Sampling of CTCs reveals drug-resistance mechanisms in prostate cancer

CTC clusters: biological significance and label-independent isolation using microchip technology Clusters of CTCs, consisting of two or more cells, have been observed for decades. Their significance is unknown, but a recent study suggests that a cluster is approximately 50 times more likely to result in a metastatic event compared to a single CTC (1). In… Read article →


Circulating tumor cell (CTC) biomarkers in liquid biopsy – not ready for prime time?

Currently, the only FDA-approved use of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is identifying and counting CTCs in whole blood from patients with metastatic breast, colon or prostate cancer (1). Based upon recent developments, enumeration of CTCs is only the tip of the iceberg. Molecular characterization of CTCs would permit noninvasive genotyping in real time, potentially sampling… Read article →