03 April 2020
Metastases and cancer recurrence are the main causes of cancer death. Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) and disseminated tumor cells are the drivers of cancer cell dissemination. The assessment of CTCs’ clinical role in early metastasis prediction, diagnosis, and treatment requires more information about their biology, their roles in cancer dormancy, and immune evasion as well as in therapy resistance. Indeed, CTC functional and biochemical phenotypes have been only partially characterized using murine metastasis models and liquid biopsy in human patients. CTC detection, characterization, and enumeration represent a promising tool for tailoring the management of each patient with cancer. The comprehensive understanding of CTCs will provide more opportunities to determine their clinical utility. This review provides much-needed insights into this dynamic field of translational cancer research.