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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; in revised form: 21 May 2010 / Accepted: 26 May 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
Abstract: 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.
Keywords: circulating tumor cells (CTC); circulating tumor micro-emboli; CTC technology; CTC enumeration; CTC molecular characterization; CTC biomarkers
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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.
Hou J-M, Krebs M, Ward T, Morris K, Sloane R, Blackhall F, Dive C. Circulating Tumor Cells, Enumeration and Beyond. Cancers. 2010; 2(2):1236-1250.
Hou, Jian-Mei; Krebs, Matthew; Ward, Tim; Morris, Karen; Sloane, Robert; Blackhall, Fiona; Dive, Caroline. 2010. "Circulating Tumor Cells, Enumeration and Beyond." Cancers 2, no. 2: 1236-1250.