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J Cell Biol. 2011 Feb 7;192(3):373-82. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201010021.

Circulating tumor cells: approaches to isolation and characterization.

Author information

1
Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Harvard Medical School, Charlestown, MA 02129, USA.

Abstract

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) shed from primary and metastatic cancers are admixed with blood components and are thus rare, making their isolation and characterization a major technological challenge. CTCs hold the key to understanding the biology of metastasis and provide a biomarker to noninvasively measure the evolution of tumor genotypes during treatment and disease progression. Improvements in technologies to yield purer CTC populations amenable to better cellular and molecular characterization will enable a broad range of clinical applications, including early detection of disease and the discovery of biomarkers to predict treatment responses and disease progression.

PMID:
21300848
PMCID:
PMC3101098
DOI:
10.1083/jcb.201010021
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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