Detection methods of circulating tumor cells

Klaus Pantel, Catherine Alix-Panabières


Early during the formation and growth of a primary epithelial tumor, cells disseminate through the bloodstream to distant organs. These circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be enriched and detected via different technologies and CTC analyses are considered as a real-time “liquid biopsy” in cancer patients. This biopsy allows the characterization of specific sub-populations of CTCs and may revolutionize cancer detection and management. This editorial highlights the current strategies used for enrichment and detection of CTCs.