Association of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition circulating tumor cells in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) molecular subgroups
The early detection of cancer is the hallmark of a successful treatment. However, many tumors remain clinically occult until they are far advanced. The high metastatic potential of the disease is attributed to the dissemination of tumor cells through the hematogenous and/or the lymphatic vasculature (1). To this direction, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) constitute the “seed” for the promotion of the general metastatic potential in distant organs (“soil”), triggering a mechanism that is responsible for the vast majority of cancer-related deaths (2). CTC detection, in the peripheral blood, has been proposed and is being tested as a liquid biopsy material; it is a non-invasive procedure and the presence of CTCs and their molecular characteristics has been associated with disease prognosis, treatment effectiveness and, eventually, with early detection of cancer (3).