Next Article in Journal
Exogenous Molecular Probes for Targeted Imaging in Cancer: Focus on Multi-modal Imaging
Previous Article in Journal
Significance of Micrometastases: Circulating Tumor Cells and Disseminated Tumor Cells in Early Breast Cancer
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessReview
Cancers 2010, 2(2), 1236-1250; doi:10.3390/cancers2021236

Circulating Tumor Cells, Enumeration and Beyond

Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Manchester M20 4BX, UK
School of Cancer and Enabling Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester Cancer Research Centre, Manchester Academic Health Sciences Centre, Manchester M20 4BX, UK
Christie Hospital Foundation NHS Trust, Manchester M20 4BX, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 8 April 2010 / Revised: 21 May 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [239 KB, uploaded 9 June 2010]   |  


The detection and enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) has shown significant clinical utility with respect to prognosis in breast, colorectal and prostate cancers. Emerging studies show that CTCs can provide pharmacodynamic information to aid therapy decision making. CTCs as a ‘virtual and real-time biopsy’ have clear potential to facilitate exploration of tumor biology, and in particular, the process of metastasis. The challenge of profiling CTC molecular characteristics and generating CTC signatures using current technologies is that they enrich rather than purify CTCs from whole blood; we face the problem of looking for the proverbial ‘needle in the haystack’. This review summarizes the current methods for CTC detection and enumeration, focuses on molecular characterization of CTCs, unveils some aspects of CTC heterogeneity, describes attempts to purify CTCs and scans the horizon for approaches leading to comprehensive dissection of CTC biology. View Full-Text
Keywords: circulating tumor cells (CTC); circulating tumor micro-emboli; CTC technology; CTC enumeration; CTC molecular characterization; CTC biomarkers circulating tumor cells (CTC); circulating tumor micro-emboli; CTC technology; CTC enumeration; CTC molecular characterization; CTC biomarkers

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Hou, J.-M.; Krebs, M.; Ward, T.; Morris, K.; Sloane, R.; Blackhall, F.; Dive, C. Circulating Tumor Cells, Enumeration and Beyond. Cancers 2010, 2, 1236-1250.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Cancers EISSN 2072-6694 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top