Luis Enrique Cortés-Hernández, Zahra Eslami-S, Klaus Pantel, Catherine Alix-Panabières

Circulating Tumor Cells: From Basic to Translational Research

  • Biochemistry (medical)
  • Clinical Biochemistry

Abstract Background Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths. Most studies have focused on the primary tumor or on overt metastatic lesions, leaving a significant knowledge gap concerning blood-borne cancer cell dissemination, a major step in the metastatic cascade. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of patients with solid cancer can now be enumerated and investigated at the molecular level, giving unexpected information on the biology of the metastatic cascade. Content Here, we reviewed recent advances in basic and translational/clinical research on CTCs as key elements in the metastatic cascade. Summary Findings from translational studies on CTCs have elucidated the complexity of the metastatic process. Fully understanding this process will open new potential avenues for cancer therapeutic and diagnostic strategies to propose precision medicine to all cancer patients.

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