Circulating tumour cells, their role in metastasis and their clinical utility in lung cancer

O’Flaherty, John D., Gray, Steven, Richard, Derek, Fennell, Dean, O’Leary, John J., Blackhall, Fiona H., & O’Byrne, Kenneth J. (2012) Circulating tumour cells, their role in metastasis and their clinical utility in lung cancer. Lung Cancer, 76(1), pp. 19-25.

View at publisher

Abstract

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) have attracted much recent interest in cancer research as a potential biomarker and as a means of studying the process of metastasis. It has long been understood that metastasis is a hallmark of malignancy, and conceptual theories on the basis of metastasis from the nineteenth century foretold the existence of a tumour "seed" which is capable of establishing discrete tumours in the "soil" of distant organs. This prescient "seed and soil" hypothesis accurately predicted the existence of CTCs; microscopic tumour fragments in the blood, at least some of which are capable of forming metastases. However, it is only in recent years that reliable, reproducible methods of CTC detection and analysis have been developed. To date, the majority of studies have employed the CellSearch™ system (Veridex LLC), which is an immunomagnetic purification method. Other promising techniques include microfluidic filters, isolation of tumour cells by size using microporous polycarbonate filters and flow cytometry-based approaches. While many challenges still exist, the detection of CTCs in blood is becoming increasingly feasible, giving rise to some tantalizing questions about the use of CTCs as a potential biomarker. CTC enumeration has been used to guide prognosis in patients with metastatic disease, and to act as a surrogate marker for disease response during therapy. Other possible uses for CTC detection include prognostication in early stage patients, identifying patients requiring adjuvant therapy, or in surveillance, for the detection of relapsing disease. Another exciting possible use for CTC detection assays is the molecular and genetic characterization of CTCs to act as a "liquid biopsy" representative of the primary tumour. Indeed it has already been demonstrated that it is possible to detect HER2, KRAS and EGFR mutation status in breast, colon and lung cancer CTCs respectively. In the course of this review, we shall discuss the biology of CTCs and their role in metastagenesis, the most commonly used techniques for their detection and the evidence to date of their clinical utility, with particular reference to lung cancer.

Impact and interest:

59 citations in Scopus
Search Google Scholar™
50 citations in Web of Science®

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

ID Code: 55971
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Circulating tumour cells (CTC), circulating tumour microemboli (CTM), non-small cell lung cancer, biomarker, liquid biopsy, Metastasis, epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT), Clinical , diagnosis, lung cancer, small cell lung cancer
DOI: 10.1016/j.lungcan.2011.10.018
ISSN: 1872-8332
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200) > Cancer Cell Biology (111201)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES (110000) > ONCOLOGY AND CARCINOGENESIS (111200) > Cancer Diagnosis (111202)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Biomedical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Faculty of Health
Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Copyright Owner: Copyright © 2012 Published by Elsevier Ireland Ltd.
Deposited On: 02 Jan 2013 00:11
Last Modified: 15 Jan 2014 01:48

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page