Circulating tumor cells: moving forward into clinical applications

Zahra Eslami-S, Luis Enrique Cortés-Hernández, Catherine Alix-Panabières


The use of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a bio-source for real-time liquid biopsy has gained clinical usages in the management of cancer patients. In the last decade several clinical trials have been done in order to identify the clinical validity and clinical utility for the enumeration of CTCs. Although the clinical validity of CTCs and their association to prognosis have been successfully proved, still studies demonstrating clinical utility are lacking, highlighting the need for more clinical trials aiming to identify the clinical scenarios where analysis of CTCs offers an advantage to the standard state of care, as well as new technological and biological approaches. In this review, we summarized the most important clinical applications for CTCs.