Updated : Oct 08, 2020 in Health

Circulating Tumor Cells: Definition and Significance

Circulating tumor cells or CTC’s are the kind of cells that have got detached from the primary tumor & circulate in your bloodstream. CTCs is considered as seeds for its subsequent growth of the additional tumors; thus, CTCs can metastasize to various parts of your body and can create the new tumors in various tissues and organs. Generally, elevation in the CTCs during the clinical treatment of the cancers is one main indicator of the cancer progression. It is very important to check it with circulating tumor cells early detection.

Types of CTCs

There are many kinds of the CTCs that have got variable characteristics & morphologies that involve the nucleus, fragmentations, cell size, and cytoplasmic features, and cell clusters. The differences in the cellular characteristics & morphology are important to identify prognostic & therapeutic implications for such disease.

Clinically, if CTCs are there in your bloodstream, they generally exist in small amounts. In the patients with the metastatic disease, typically CTCs can be found in the frequencies on order of 1 by 10 CTC mL of entire whole blood. It’s estimated that among our cells that have got detached from its primary tumor, just 0.01% will form metastases.

Due to low frequency of the CTCs in your bloodstream, the detection will be difficult. Such difficulty needs technologies & approaches for the circulating tumor cells screening and identification that can isolate 1 CTC of blood and can identify the different CTC types in high definition & quantity to meet the diagnostic criteria.