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Issue 3, 2017
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Enrichment and single-cell analysis of circulating tumor cells

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Abstract

Up to 90% of cancer-related deaths are caused by metastatic cancer. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs), a type of cancer cell that spreads through the blood after detaching from a solid tumor, are essential for the establishment of distant metastasis for a given cancer. As a new type of liquid biopsy, analysis of CTCs offers the possibility to avoid invasive tissue biopsy procedures with practical implications for diagnostics. The fundamental challenges of analyzing and profiling CTCs are the extremely low abundances of CTCs in the blood and the intrinsic heterogeneity of CTCs. Various technologies have been proposed for the enrichment and single-cell analysis of CTCs. This review aims to provide in-depth insights into CTC analysis, including various techniques for isolation of CTCs with capture methods based on physical and biochemical principles, and single-cell analysis of CTCs at the genomic, proteomic and phenotypic level, as well as current developmental trends and promising research directions.

Graphical abstract: Enrichment and single-cell analysis of circulating tumor cells

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Publication details

The article was received on 19 Oct 2016, accepted on 07 Dec 2016 and first published on 07 Dec 2016


Article type: Perspective
DOI: 10.1039/C6SC04671A
Citation: Chem. Sci., 2017,8, 1736-1751
  • Open access: Creative Commons BY license
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    Enrichment and single-cell analysis of circulating tumor cells

    Y. Song, T. Tian, Y. Shi, W. Liu, Y. Zou, T. Khajvand, S. Wang, Z. Zhu and C. Yang, Chem. Sci., 2017, 8, 1736
    DOI: 10.1039/C6SC04671A

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