Circulating tumor cells are transcriptionally similar to the primary tumor in a murine prostate model

Cancer Res. 2009 Oct 1;69(19):7860-6. doi: 10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-09-0801. Epub 2009 Sep 29.


The abundance of circulating tumor cells (CTC) indicates patient prognosis. Molecular characterization of CTCs may add additional information about a patient's disease. However, currently available methods are limited by contamination with blood cells. We describe a study using a modified CTC-chip to capture CTCs from an orthotopic xenograft model. Using laser capture microscopy to collect CTCs from the chip, we compared transcripts from purified CTCs with those from primary and metastatic tissue. Transcriptional profiles showed strong concordance among primary, metastatic, and CTC sources. Moreover, cells captured on the chip were viable and could be expanded in culture. We conclude that the CTC-chip is a useful tool to further characterize animal models of cancer and that viable CTCs can be isolated and show transcriptional similarity to solid tumors.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Line, Tumor
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Microscopy, Confocal / methods
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / metabolism
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating / pathology*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / blood*
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / genetics
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / metabolism
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Transcription, Genetic
  • Transplantation, Heterologous