DOI: 10.1515/medgen-2023-2056 ISSN: 1863-5490

Clinical application of circulating tumor cells

Nikolas H. Stoecklein, Julia Oles, Andre Franken, Hans Neubauer, Leon W.M.M. Terstappen, Rui P.L. Neves
  • Genetics (clinical)
  • Genetics


This narrative review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of circulating tumor cell (CTC) analysis and its clinical significance in patients with epithelial cancers. The review explores the advancements in CTC detection methods, their clinical applications, and the challenges that lie ahead. By examining the important research findings in this field, this review offers the reader a solid foundation to understand the evolving landscape of CTC analysis and its potential implications for clinical practice. The comprehensive analysis of CTCs provides valuable insights into tumor biology, treatment response, minimal residual disease detection, and prognostic evaluation. Furthermore, the review highlights the potential of CTCs as a non-invasive biomarker for personalized medicine and the monitoring of treatment efficacy. Despite the progress made in CTC research, several challenges such as standardization, validation, and integration into routine clinical practice remain. The review concludes by discussing future directions and the potential impact of CTC analysis on improving patient outcomes and guiding therapeutic decision-making in epithelial cancers.

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