Epithelial mesenchymal transition: a new insight into the detection of circulating tumor cells

ISRN Oncol. 2012:2012:382010. doi: 10.5402/2012/382010. Epub 2012 Apr 11.


Many research groups reported on the relation between circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood and worse prognosis for metastatic cancer patients. These results are based on CTCs counting and did not take into account molecular characteristics of cells. To establish CTCs as a reliable and accurate biological marker, new technologies must be focused on CTC subpopulations: dedifferentiated circulating tumor cells (ddCTCs) arising from epithelial mesenchymal transition (EMT). To select and detect them, different methods have been proposed but none has still reached the goal. Technical progress and translational research are expected to establish CTCs as a real marker. Thus CTC evaluation profiling for each patient will lead to personalize followup and therapy.