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Clin Chem Lab Med. 2018 Jan 26;56(2):186-197. doi: 10.1515/cclm-2017-0019.

Liquid biopsy in ovarian cancer: recent advances on circulating tumor cells and circulating tumor DNA.

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Analysis of Circulating Tumor Cells Lab, Laboratory of Analytical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, University of Athens, University Campus, Athens, Greece.
Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics, University Hospital of Essen, University of Duisburg-Essen, Essen, Germany.


Ovarian cancer remains the most lethal disease among gynecological malignancies despite the plethora of research studies during the last decades. The majority of patients are diagnosed in an advanced stage and exhibit resistance to standard chemotherapy. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) represent the main liquid biopsy approaches that offer a minimally invasive sample collection. Both have shown a diagnostic, prognostic and predictive value in many types of solid malignancies and recent studies attempted to shed light on their role in ovarian cancer. This review is mainly focused on the clinical value of both CTCs and ctDNA in ovarian cancer and, more specifically, on their potential as diagnostic, prognostic and predictive tumor biomarkers.


circulating tumor DNA; circulating tumor cells; liquid biopsy; ovarian cancer; tumor biomarkers

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