Pancreatic Cancer pp 1325-1360 | Cite as

Circulating Tumor Cells

  • Konstantinos L. Georgiadis
  • Kathryn Simpson
  • Mahmood Ayub
  • Ged Brady
  • Juan Valle
  • Claus Jorgensen
  • Caroline Dive
Reference work entry


Analysis of cellular and molecular components of tumor origin detectable in the bloodstream, so-called liquid biopsies, is demonstrating potential to support management of cancer patients. Development of sensitive technologies enables detection, isolation, and downstream analysis of both circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) from the blood of patients with various malignancies, in a minimally invasive way, allowing temporal and spatial monitoring of the clinical course of the disease. This is particularly significant in cancers such as pancreas cancer, a particularly aggressive disease with limited treatment options and poor outcomes, where serial biopsy is challenging. CTC enumeration; genomic, transcriptomic, and proteomic analysis; as well as in-depth sequencing of ctDNA may define a comprehensive molecular and genetic landscape of pancreatic cancer and provide a set of novel biomarkers for screening, diagnosis, prognosis, and response assessment. A number of pilot studies have been conducted to assess the role of liquid biopsies in the setting of pancreatic cancer. Although results so far seem promising, more extensive studies are required to establish the clinical utility of CTCs and ctDNA in developing a personalized approach for the management of this malignancy.


Circulating tumor cells Circulating tumor DNA Liquid biopsy Pancreatic cancer Biomarkers 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Konstantinos L. Georgiadis
    • 1
    • 2
  • Kathryn Simpson
    • 1
  • Mahmood Ayub
    • 1
  • Ged Brady
    • 1
  • Juan Valle
    • 3
  • Claus Jorgensen
    • 2
  • Caroline Dive
    • 1
  1. 1.Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology GroupCancer Research UK Manchester InstituteManchesterUK
  2. 2.Systems Oncology GroupCancer Research UK Manchester InstituteManchesterUK
  3. 3.Institute of Cancer SciencesUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

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