Stem-like plasticity and heterogeneity of circulating tumor cells: Current status and prospect challenges in liver cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Poor prognosis and high recurrence remain leading causes of primary liver cancer-associated mortality. The spread of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood plays a major role in the initiation of metastasis and tumor recurrence after surgery. Nevertheless, only a subset of CTCs can survive, migrate to distant sites and establish secondary tumors. Consistent with cancer stem cell (CSC) hypothesis, stemlike CTCs might represent a potential source for cancer relapse and distant metastasis. Thus, identification of stem-like metastasis-initiating CTC-subset may provide useful clinically prognostic information. This review will emphasize the most relevant findings of CTCs in the context of stem-like biology associated to liver carcinogenesis. In this view, the emerging field of stem-like CTCs may deliver substantial contribution in liver cancer field in order to move to personalized approaches for diagnosis, prognosis and therapy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7094-7115
Number of pages22
JournalOncotarget
Volume8
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017

Keywords

  • Cancer stem cells
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Primary liver cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology

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