With prostate cancer (PCa), circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) portend a poor clinical prognosis. Their unknown biology precludes rational therapeutic design. We demonstrate that CTC and DTC cell lines, established from mice bearing human PCa orthotopic implants, exhibit increased cellular invasion in vitro, increased metastasis in mice, and express increased epithelial to mesenchymal transition biomarkers. Further, they are selectively resistant to growth inhibition by mitoxantrone-like agents. These findings demonstrate that CTC formation is accompanied by phenotypic progression without obligate reversion. Their increased metastatic potential, selective therapeutic resistance, and differential expression of potential therapeutic targets provide a rational basis to test further interventions.
Keywords: Circulating tumor cells; Drug resistance; EMT; MMP-2; Metastasis; Prostate cancer.
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