Circulating tumor cell profiling for precision oncology

Mahmoud Labib, Shana O. Kelley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Analysis of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) collected from patient's blood offers a broad range of opportunities in the field of precision oncology. With new advances in profiling technology, it is now possible to demonstrate an association between the molecular profiles of CTCs and tumor response to therapy. In this Review, we discuss mechanisms of tumor resistance to therapy and their link to phenotypic and genotypic properties of CTCs. We summarize key technologies used to isolate and analyze CTCs and discuss recent clinical studies that examined CTCs for genomic and proteomic predictors of responsiveness to therapy. We also point out current limitations that still hamper the implementation of CTCs into clinical practice. We finally reflect on how these shortcomings can be addressed with the likely contribution of multiparametric approaches and advanced data analytics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1622-1646
Number of pages25
JournalMolecular oncology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021


  • CTC enrichment
  • drug selection
  • microfluidics
  • molecular profiling
  • precision oncology
  • tumor resistance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Medicine
  • Genetics
  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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