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Review

Circulating Tumor Cell Clusters: United We Stand Divided We Fall

1
INSERM U1035, Université de Bordeaux, 33000 Bordeaux, France
2
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Bordeaux, 33000 Bordeaux, France
3
Centre Hospitalier Universitaire (CHU) de Toulouse, 31000 Toulouse, France
4
INSERM UMR 1037, Toulouse Centre for Cancer Research, University of Toulouse III, 31000 Toulouse, France
5
INSERM UMR-1220, IRSD University of Toulouse III, 31000 Toulouse, France
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contribute equally to this work.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(7), 2653; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21072653
Received: 13 March 2020 / Revised: 5 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 10 April 2020
The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and CTC clusters, also known as tumor microemboli, in biological fluids has long been described. Intensive research on single CTCs has made a significant contribution in understanding tumor invasion, metastasis tropism, and intra-tumor heterogeneity. Moreover, their being minimally invasive biomarkers has positioned them for diagnosis, prognosis, and recurrence monitoring tools. Initially, CTC clusters were out of focus, but major recent advances in the knowledge of their biogenesis and dissemination reposition them as critical actors in the pathophysiology of cancer, especially metastasis. Increasing evidence suggests that “united” CTCs, organized in clusters, resist better and carry stronger metastatic capacities than “divided” single CTCs. This review gathers recent insight on CTC cluster origin and dissemination. We will focus on their distinct molecular package necessary to resist multiple cell deaths that all circulating cells normally face. We will describe the molecular basis of their increased metastatic potential as compared to single CTCs. We will consider their clinical relevance as prognostic biomarkers. Finally, we will propose future directions for research and clinical applications in this promising topic in cancer. View Full-Text
Keywords: liquid biopsy; circulating tumor cells clusters; circulating tumor cells; CTC; microemboli liquid biopsy; circulating tumor cells clusters; circulating tumor cells; CTC; microemboli
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MDPI and ACS Style

Amintas, S.; Bedel, A.; Moreau-Gaudry, F.; Boutin, J.; Buscail, L.; Merlio, J.-P.; Vendrely, V.; Dabernat, S.; Buscail, E. Circulating Tumor Cell Clusters: United We Stand Divided We Fall. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21, 2653. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21072653

AMA Style

Amintas S, Bedel A, Moreau-Gaudry F, Boutin J, Buscail L, Merlio J-P, Vendrely V, Dabernat S, Buscail E. Circulating Tumor Cell Clusters: United We Stand Divided We Fall. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2020; 21(7):2653. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21072653

Chicago/Turabian Style

Amintas, Samuel; Bedel, Aurélie; Moreau-Gaudry, François; Boutin, Julian; Buscail, Louis; Merlio, Jean-Philippe; Vendrely, Véronique; Dabernat, Sandrine; Buscail, Etienne. 2020. "Circulating Tumor Cell Clusters: United We Stand Divided We Fall" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 21, no. 7: 2653. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21072653

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