Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are regarded as harbingers of metastases. Their ability to predict response to therapy, relapse, and resistance to treatment has proposed their value as putative diagnostic and prognostic indicators. CTCs represent one of the zeniths of cancer evolution in terms of cell survival; however, the triggers of CTC generation, the identification of potentially metastatic CTCs, and the mechanisms contributing to their heterogeneity and aggressiveness represent issues not yet fully deciphered. Thus, prior to enabling liquid biopsy applications to reach clinical prime time, understanding how the above mechanistic information can be applied to improve treatment decisions is a key challenge. Here, we provide our perspective on how CTCs can provide mechanistic insights into tumor pathogenesis, as well as on CTC clinical value. In doing so, we aim to (a) describe how CTCs disseminate from the primary tumor, and their link to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT); (b) trace the route of CTCs through the circulation, focusing on tumor self-seeding and the possibility of tertiary metastasis; (c) describe possible mechanisms underlying the enhanced metastatic potential of CTCs; (d) discuss how CTC could provide f...Continue Reading
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Cancer Genomics (Keystone)
Cancer genomics approaches employ high-throughput technologies to identify the complete catalog of somatic alterations that characterize the genome, transcriptome and epigenome of cohorts of tumor samples. Discover the latest research using such technologies in this feed.