Circulatory Tumor Cells in Esophageal Adenocarcinoma

  • Vinod Gopalan
  • Alfred K. Lam
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1756)


While circulating tumor cells (CTCs) within peripheral blood of cancer patients are no new phenomenon in many carcinomas, there is a lack of information on the biological and clinical implications of CTCs in esophageal adenocarcinomas. Limited evidence suggests that the CTCs are frequently detected in esophageal adenocarcinomas when compared to esophageal squamous cell carcinoma suggesting the potential difference in the pathogenesis between these two carcinomas. In addition, the varied CTC levels between adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinomas of the esophagus could be attributed to the varied expression pattern of epithelial markers such as epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) and cytokeratin (CK). In esophageal adenocarcinomas, CTC levels correlated with pathological T stages, lymph node metastasis, and patient survival. Thus, detection of CTCs potentially acts as a noninvasive and real-time biomarker for predicting patient prognosis in esophageal adenocarcinomas. Although the CTC detection is currently performed using various methods, the only Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of USA approved CTC detection method in clinics is the CELLSEARCH® system. This chapter will discuss various biological characteristics of CTC and its potential implications in esophageal adenocarcinomas. In addition, a quick overview of CTC detection methodology is outlined.

Key words

Circulating tumor cell Blood CTC Cytokeratin Esophageal adenocarcinoma 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cancer Molecular Pathology of School of MedicineGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia

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