Special Issue "Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs)"

A special issue of Cancers (ISSN 2072-6694).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 November 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Dario Marchetti

Director, Biomarker Research Program, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Professor, Institute of Academic Medicine, Visiting Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, MS: R7-414, 6670 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX 77030, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: the biology and therapeutic utility of circulating tumor cells (CTCs); liquid biopsies; mechanisms of brain metastasis and dormancy in breast and melanoma cancers; roles of heparanase in development and disease

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The major cause of patient mortality in cancer is metastasis; however, understanding of the metastatic cascade and mechanisms underlying this complex set of events remain poorly understood. Cancer cells invade the surrounding tissue of primary or metastatic tumors, intravasate into lymphatic and blood vessels, disseminate to distant tissues, extravasate by adapting to the new microenvironment, and colonize these tissues. Because dissemination mostly occurs through the blood, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are of paramount importance and one of the most promising areas of oncology research. CTCs might serve as “liquid biopsy” as a better way to diagnose cancer patients compared to painful biopsies of the primary tumor, and can represent a clinically useful tool to better reflect cancer progression and monitoring in the patient. The isolation, characterization, and interrogation of CTCs are hampered by their rarity and heterogeneity, either inherited from respective primary or metastatic tumors or as a result of CTC evolution in blood by genetic/epigenetic progression that may or may not lead to a fully metastatic-competent CTC. Significant technical challenges in the field also persist in regard to identifying and interrogating CTC heterogeneity, assessing CTC biomarkers of clinical utility, and comprehensively capturing these cells (usually, a ratio of one CTC per 106 leukocytes and 109 erythrocytes in one milliliter of blood). Finally, many studies have reported the clinical impact of enumerating CTCs, considering that CTC testing is being employed in over 300 clinical trials worldwide. However, much of the CTC biology needs to be discovered and many scientific/technical challenges must be overcome before their clinical promise as biomarkers and targets for improved therapies can be fulfilled. The objective of this Special Issue is to publish the latest findings in CTC research and clinical implementation. Contributions outlining CTC discoveries in biological and clinical settings, CTC theoretical and pre-clinical models, CTC technologies and methods for their detection, and clinical findings applying CTC concepts, are welcome.

Prof. Dr. Dario Marchetti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Cancers is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Open AccessArticle Assessment of the Mutational Status of NSCLC Using Hypermetabolic Circulating Tumor Cells
Cancers 2018, 10(8), 270; https://doi.org/10.3390/cancers10080270
Received: 28 May 2018 / Revised: 1 August 2018 / Accepted: 10 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
PDF Full-text (3225 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Molecular characterization is currently a key step in NSCLC therapy selection. Circulating tumor cells (CTC) are excellent candidates for downstream analysis, but technology is still lagging behind. In this work, we show that the mutational status of NSCLC can be assessed on hypermetabolic
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Molecular characterization is currently a key step in NSCLC therapy selection. Circulating tumor cells (CTC) are excellent candidates for downstream analysis, but technology is still lagging behind. In this work, we show that the mutational status of NSCLC can be assessed on hypermetabolic CTC, detected by their increased glucose uptake. We validated the method in 30 Stage IV NSCLC patients: peripheral blood samples were incubated with a fluorescent glucose analog (2-NBDG) and analyzed by flow cytometry. Cells with the highest glucose uptake were sorted out. EGFR and KRAS mutations were detected by ddPCR. In sorted cells, mutated DNA was found in 85% of patients, finding an exact match with primary tumor in 70% of cases. Interestingly, in two patients multiple KRAS mutations were detected. Two patients displayed different mutations with respect to the primary tumor, and in two out of the four patients with a wild type primary tumor, new mutations were highlighted: EGFR p.746_750del and KRAS p.G12V. Hypermetabolic CTC can be enriched without the need of dedicated equipment and their mutational status can successfully be assessed by ddPCR. Finally, the finding of new mutations supports the possibility of probing tumor heterogeneity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs))

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