Notes for developing a molecular test for the full characterization of circulating tumor cells

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The proved association between the circulating tumor cell (CTC) levels and the patients’ survival parameters has been growing interest to investigate the molecular profile of these neoplastic cells among which hide out precursors capable of initiating a new distant metastatic lesion. The full characterization of the tumor cells in peripheral blood of cancer patients is expected to be of help for understanding and (prospectively) for counteracting the metastatic process. The major hitch that is hampering the successful gaining of this result is the lack of a consensus onto standard operating procedures (SOPs) for performing what we generally define as the “liquid biopsy”. Here we review the more recent acquisitions in the analysis of CTCs and tumor related nucleic acids, looking to the main open questions that are hampering their definitive employ in the routine clinical practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-478
Number of pages8
JournalChinese Journal of Cancer Research
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1 2015



  • Circulating tumor cells (CTCs)
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Single-cell analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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