Special Issue "Circulating Tumor Cells"
Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2016)
Prof. Dr. Dario Marchetti
Director, Biomarker Research Program, Houston Methodist Research Institute, Professor, Institute of Academic Medicine, Visiting Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, MS: R7-414, 6670 Bertner Avenue, Houston, TX 77030, USA
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Interests: the biology and therapeutic utility of circulating tumor cells (CTCs); liquid biopsies; mechanisms of brain metastasis and dormancy in breast and melanoma cancers; roles of heparanase in development and disease
The major cause of patient mortality in cancer is metastasis, however, understanding of the metastatic cascade and mechanisms underlying this complex set of events remain poorly understood. Cancer cells invade the surrounding tissue of primary or metastatic tumors, intravasate into lymphatic and blood vessels, disseminate to distant tissues, extravasate by adapting to the new microenvironment, and colonize these tissues. Because dissemination mostly occurs through the blood, circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are of paramount importance and one of the most promising areas of oncology research. CTCs might serve as “liquid biopsy” as a better way to diagnose cancer patients compared to painful biopsies of the primary tumor, and can represent a clinically useful tool to better reflect cancer progression and monitoring in the patient.
The isolation, characterization, and interrogation of CTCs are hampered by their rarity and heterogeneity, either inherited from respective primary or metastatic tumors or as a result of CTC evolution in blood by genetic/epigenetic progression that may or may not lead to a fully metastatic-competent CTC. Significant technical challenges in the field also persist in regard to identifying and interrogating CTC heterogeneity, assessing CTC biomarkers of clinical utility, and comprehensively capturing these cells (usually, a ratio of one CTC per 106 leukocytes and 109 erythrocytes in one milliliter of blood). Finally, many studies have reported the clinical impact of enumerating CTCs, considering that CTC testing is being employed in over 300 clinical trials worldwide. However, much of the CTC biology needs to be discovered and many scientific/technical challenges must be overcome before their clinical promise as biomarkers and targets for improved therapies can be fulfilled.
The objective of this Special Issue is to publish the latest findings in CTC research and clinical implementation. Contributions outlining CTC discoveries in biological and clinical settings, CTC theoretical and pre-clinical models, CTC technologies and methods for their detection, and clinical findings applying CTC concepts, are welcome.
Prof. Dr. Dario Marchetti
Manuscript Submission Information
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- circulating tumor cells
- liquid biopsy
- cancer metastasis
- minimal residual disease
- early-detection of cancer
- cancer diagnostics
- CTC technologies and platforms
- CTC biology
- CTC clinical intervention