Tracking cancer progression: from circulating tumor cells to metastasis.

Publication date: Mar 19, 2020

The analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) is an outstanding tool to provide insights into the biology of metastatic cancers, to monitor disease progression and with potential for use in liquid biopsy-based personalized cancer treatment. These goals are ambitious, yet recent studies are already allowing a sharper understanding of the strengths, challenges, and opportunities provided by liquid biopsy approaches. For instance, through single-cell-resolution genomics and transcriptomics, it is becoming increasingly clear that CTCs are heterogeneous at multiple levels and that only a fraction of them is capable of initiating metastasis. It also appears that CTCs adopt multiple ways to enhance their metastatic potential, including homotypic clustering and heterotypic interactions with immune and stromal cells. On the clinical side, both CTC enumeration and molecular analysis may provide new means to monitor cancer progression and to take individualized treatment decisions, but their use for early cancer detection appears to be challenging compared to that of other tumor derivatives such as circulating tumor DNA. In this review, we summarize current data on CTC biology and CTC-based clinical applications that are likely to impact our understanding of the metastatic process and to influence the clinical management of patients with metastatic cancer, including new prospects that may favor the implementation of precision medicine.

Open Access PDF

Castro-Giner, F. and Aceto, N. Tracking cancer progression: from circulating tumor cells to metastasis. 06545. 2020 Genome Med (12):1.

Concepts Keywords
Clustering Metastasis
Metastasis Interventional radiology
Metastatic Biopsy
Metastatic Cancer Cancer pathology
Precision Medicine Anatomical pathology
Stromal Oncology
Transcriptomics Medical specialties
Tumor Clinical medicine
Insights metastatic cancers
Tumor metastasis
Cancers monitor
Liquid biopsy
Circulating tumor DNA
Circulating tumor cell


Type Source Name
disease MESH cancer
disease MESH circulating tumor cells
disease MESH metastasis
disease MESH disease progression
disease MESH biopsy
disease MESH colorectal cancers
drug DRUGBANK Trestolone
disease MESH immuno
drug DRUGBANK Coenzyme M
disease MESH Point mutations
drug DRUGBANK Spinosad
drug DRUGBANK Oxygen
disease MESH hypoxia
pathway KEGG Mitophagy
disease MESH breast cancer
pathway KEGG Breast cancer
disease MESH dissociation
disease MESH estrogen
drug DRUGBANK Paclitaxel
drug DRUGBANK L-Phenylalanine
disease MESH repression
drug DRUGBANK Indoleacetic acid
drug DRUGBANK Methyl isocyanate
disease MESH growth
pathway KEGG Apoptosis
disease MESH diagnosis
disease MESH prostate cancers
drug DRUGBANK Carboplatin
disease MESH multiple myeloma
disease MESH recurrence
disease MESH melanoma
pathway KEGG Melanoma
disease MESH tic
disease MESH adenocarcinoma
drug DRUGBANK Myricetin
disease MESH lung cancer
disease MESH carcinoma
drug DRUGBANK Ethionamide
disease MESH malaria
pathway KEGG Malaria
pathway KEGG Prostate cancer
disease MESH minimal residual disease
drug DRUGBANK Vinorelbine
disease MESH small cell lung cancer
pathway KEGG Small cell lung cancer
drug DRUGBANK Cefotiam
drug DRUGBANK Snail unspecified
drug DRUGBANK Nonoxynol-9
drug DRUGBANK (S)-Des-Me-Ampa
disease MESH suffering
drug DRUGBANK Guanosine
disease MESH pancreatic cancer
pathway KEGG Pancreatic cancer
drug DRUGBANK Enzalutamide
drug DRUGBANK Abiraterone
disease MESH men
drug DRUGBANK Nivolumab
disease MESH ovarian cancer
disease MESH chronic obstructive pulmonary disease


Original Article

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