Molecular characterization and prognostic significance of circulating tumor cells in patients with non-small cell lung cancer
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are rare epithelial cells that can be found in the peripheral blood of cancer patients. A growing body of evidence indicates that CTCs may play a role in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) for diagnosis, therapy monitoring and prognostic purposes. CTCs evaluation could be particularly relevant in this clinical setting, considering that physicians often have difficulty in obtaining an adequate tumor tissue and that patients are not always suitable to receive a re-biopsy. In the current review, we will focus on the molecular characterization and prognostic significance of CTCs in NSCLC patients.