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Special Issue "Circulating Tumor Cells: The Next Generation Liquid Biopsy"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Biology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2022.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Andi Cani
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Hayes Laboratory, Hematology/Oncology Division of the Internal Medicine Department, Rogel Cancer Center, University of Michigan (Michigan Medicine), Ann Arbor, MI, USA
Interests: cancer genomics; precision oncology; immuno-oncology; liquid biopsy; circulating tumor cells; ctDNA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Circulating tumor cells (CTC) are cancer cells that leave a primary or metastatic lesion and are found in blood circulation. As such, they are thought to enable cancer dissemination and metastatic spread. This was confirmed by the discovery two decades ago that high CTC counts portend a poor prognosis in several major cancer types. Since then, technological advances have allowed CTC researchers to move beyond their enumeration and make strides toward the characterization of the CTC phenotype in terms of protein expression as well as their genomic and transcriptomic makeup. More recently, single cell technologies have entered the CTC field, promising to enhance our cellular and molecular understanding of cancer with the ultimate goal of improving patient outcomes.

This all-encompassing Special Issue, “Circulating Tumor Cells: Next Generation Liquid Biopsy”, aims to present the latest CTC research including but not limited to:

  1. CTC genomics and transcriptomics for liquid biopsy-driven detection of actionable alterations;
  2. CTC and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) as cancer liquid biopsy approaches providing complementary information;
  3. The CTC epigenome;
  4. Protein/proteome studies in CTC;
  5. CTC and the invasion-metastasis cascade;
  6. Technological advances in CTC capture, purification, and analysis;
  7. CTC in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF);
  8. CTC viability and maintenance using in vitro cultures and in vivo xenografts.

Dr. Andi Cani
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • circulating tumor cells, CTCs
  • liquid biopsy
  • precision oncology
  • next-generation sequencing, NGS
  • circulating tumor DNA, ctDNA
  • cancer genomics
  • cancer transcriptomics
  • cancer epigenetics
  • cancer proteomics
  • CTC prognosis
  • CTC technology

Published Papers (1 paper)

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Liquid Biopsy in Melanoma: Significance in Diagnostics, Prediction and Treatment Monitoring
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(18), 9714; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22189714 - 08 Sep 2021
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Liquid biopsy is a common term referring to circulating tumor cells and other biomarkers, such as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) or extracellular vesicles. Liquid biopsy presents a range of clinical advantages, such as the low invasiveness of the blood sample collection and continuous [...] Read more.
Liquid biopsy is a common term referring to circulating tumor cells and other biomarkers, such as circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) or extracellular vesicles. Liquid biopsy presents a range of clinical advantages, such as the low invasiveness of the blood sample collection and continuous control of the tumor progression. In addition, this approach enables the mechanisms of drug resistance to be determined in various methods of cancer treatment, including immunotherapy. However, in the case of melanoma, the application of liquid biopsy in patient stratification and therapy needs further investigation. This review attempts to collect all of the relevant and recent information about circulating melanoma cells (CMCs) related to the context of malignant melanoma and immunotherapy. Furthermore, the biology of liquid biopsy analytes, including CMCs, ctDNA, mRNA and exosomes, as well as techniques for their detection and isolation, are also described. The available data support the notion that thoughtful selection of biomarkers and technologies for their detection can contribute to the development of precision medicine by increasing the efficacy of cancer diagnostics and treatment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Tumor Cells: The Next Generation Liquid Biopsy)
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