Circulating tumour cells


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Johann Sebastian de Bono
The Institute of Cancer Research and Royal Marsden Hospital, Sutton, United Kingdom

Abstract

Circulating tumour cells (CTC) are present in the blood of many cancer patients and their presence has been shown to be of prognostic relevance in multiple tumour types. Controversy remains on what defines a CTC; this is largely due to the many methods being used to isolate CTC which include immunomagnetic, filtration and microfluidic chip technologies. Cytomorphological and immunofluorescent studies, a size >4u and EpCam, Cytokeratin and DAPI positivity and CD45 negative status, usually define a CTC. CTC are being used for pharmacodynamic, predictive and intermediate endpoint biomarker studies. This presentation will focus on the emerging technologies and their utilization in early clinical studies.