Promising role of circulating tumor cells in the management of sclc

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Small cell lung cancer is an aggressive disease for which few therapeutic options are currently available. Although patients initially respond to therapy, they rapidly relapse. Up to today, no biomarkers for guiding treatment of SCLC patients have been identified. SCLC patients rarely undergo surgery and often the available tissue samples are inadequate for biomarker analysis. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are rare cells in the peripheral blood that might be used as surrogates of tissue samples. Different methodological approaches have been developed for studies of CTCs in SCLC. In addition to CTC count, which might provide prognostic and predictive information, genomic and transcriptomic analyses allow the characterization of molecular profiles of CTCs and permit the study of tumor heterogeneity. The employment of CTC‐derived xenografts offers com-plementary information to genomic analyses and CTC enumeration about the mechanisms involved in the sensitivity/resistance to treatments. Using these approaches, CTC analysis is providing rele-vant information on SCLC biology that might aid in the development of personalized therapeutic strategies for SCLC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2029
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2021


  • Chemotherapy
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Prognostic biomarker
  • Small‐cell lung cancer
  • Targeted agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research

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