Flow Cytometric Detection of Circulating Tumor Cells Using a Candidate Stem Cell Marker, p75 Neurotrophin Receptor (p75NTR)

  • Tomoyuki OkumuraEmail author
  • Tetsuji Yamaguchi
  • Toru Watanabe
  • Takuya Nagata
  • Yutaka Shimada
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1634)


The most widely studied detection for circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood of cancer patients has been based on immunomagnetic enrichment using antibodies against epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), which is overexpressed in epithelial cells. A neurotrophin receptor p75 (p75NTR) is expressed in a candidate stem cell fraction in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), which shows significantly higher colony formation, enhanced tumor formation in mice, along with strong expression of epithelial mesenchymal transition-related genes. Here, we describe a method to detect CTCs in ESCC based on the combined expression of EpCAM and p75NTR using flow cytometry, demonstrating the feasibility of expression analysis of multiple cell surface markers in viable cells.

Key words

Esophageal cancer Circulating tumor cells Cancer stem cells Flow cytometry p75NTR 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number JP15K10088.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media LLC 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tomoyuki Okumura
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tetsuji Yamaguchi
    • 1
  • Toru Watanabe
    • 1
  • Takuya Nagata
    • 1
  • Yutaka Shimada
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Surgery and Science, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for ResearchUniversity of ToyamaToyama CityJapan
  2. 2.Department of Nanobio Drug Discovery, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical SciencesKyoto UniversityKyotoJapan

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