Current Colorectal Cancer Reports

, Volume 8, Issue 4, pp 233–242

Clinical Implications of Circulating Tumor Cells in Advanced Colorectal Cancer

Translational Colorectal Oncology (Y Jiang, Section Editor)

DOI: 10.1007/s11888-012-0138-1

Cite this article as:
Ahmed, S. & Eng, C. Curr Colorectal Cancer Rep (2012) 8: 233. doi:10.1007/s11888-012-0138-1


It has previously been reported that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be a promising prognostic marker in the management of metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC). CTCs are tumor-derived biomarkers circulating in the peripheral blood of patients, and are recognized as a valuable non-invasive alternative for detection of micro-metastases. Molecular and quantitative characterization of CTCs may also reveal potential novel therapeutic targets to further individualize cancer management. Additionally, CTC analysis combined with individual prognostic factors may enable prediction of therapy-specific response. This article discusses the significance of CTCs with particular focus on detection and clinical outcomes in mCRC.


Circulating tumor cells Colorectal cancer Micrometastases Epithelial mesenchymal transition Prognosis 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Gastrointestinal Medical OncologyThe University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer CenterHoustonUSA

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