Investigating small cell lung cancer molecular status and heterogeneity utilising circulating tumour cells


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Louise Carter1, Dominic G Rothwell1, Yaoyong Li2, Deborah J Burt1, Jenny Antonello1, Matthew G Krebs1,3, Jakub Chudziak1, Lynsey Priest1, Crispin Miller2, Gillian Ellison5, Fiona Blackhall3,4, Caroline Dive1, Ged Brady1
1Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, Manchester, UK,2RNA Biology Group/ Computational Biology, Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, Manchester, UK,3Christie NHS Foundation Trust, Manchester, UK,4Institute of Cancer Sciences, University of Manchester, Manchester, UK,55AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Cheshire, UK

Abstract

Background

Small Cell Lung Cancer (SCLC) is an aggressive, highly metastatic disease with dismal prognosis. Response rates to first line chemotherapy are high in most patients but progression free survival is short due to development of chemotherapy resistance via mechanisms not well understood. Serial biopsy in SCLC is challenging whereas the molecular analysis of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) offers a minimally invasive opportunity to study drug resistance mechanisms, evaluate CTC heterogeneity and reveal new drug targets.