Circulating tumor cell (CTC) clusters May represent one of the key mechanisms initiating the metastasis process. However, the series of pathophysiologic events by which CTC clusters originate, enter the circulation, and reach the distant sites remain to be identified. The cellular and molecular mechanisms that provide survival advantage for CTC clusters during the transit in the blood stream are also still largely unknown. Understanding the biology of CTC clusters is critical to assess this unified scheme employed by cancer and to device strategies to overcome key pathways responsible for their improved metastatic potential. CTC clusters remain an underdeveloped area of research begging the attention of multidisciplinary cancer research teams. Here, we provide insight on existing preclinical evidence on the potential mechanisms leading to CTC cluster formation and dissemination and on processes that May offer survival advantage. We also offer our perspective on future directions to delineate the role of CTC clusters in metastatic cascade and discuss their clinical significance.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research