The prognostic role of circulating tumor cells in lung cancer

Nicola Normanno, Antonella De Luca, Marianna Gallo, Nicoletta Chicchinelli, Antonio Rossi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article


Introduction: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be isolated from the peripheral blood of cancer patients. Several studies to assess the prognostic and/or predictive role of CTCs have been performed in lung cancer patients. Areas covered: The state-of-the-art of the role of CTCs in lung cancer patients is reviewed and discussed. A structured search of bibliographic databases for peer-reviewed research literature and of main meetings using a focused review question was undertaken. Expert commentary: Although in the revised studies different technologies, cutoffs, patients’ populations and statistical approaches have been used, a high CTCs count as prognostic role in small-cell lung cancer is suggested, whereas additional studies are required to confirm this correlation in non-small-cell lung cancer. A reduction in CTCs count is also likely to be correlated with the lung cancer patients’ outcome. Large prospective trials need to confirm the prognostic and/or predictive role of CTCs in lung cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)859-867
Number of pages9
JournalExpert Review of Anticancer Therapy
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2 2016


  • Biomarkers
  • circulating tumor cells
  • CTCs
  • lung cancer
  • prognosis
  • SCLC

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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