Recent advances in circulating tumor cells and cell-free DNA in metastatic prostate cancer: a review

The treatment landscape of metastatic prostate cancer has changed dramatically over the past five years. As new discoveries are made and further novel therapies become available, there is a heightened urgency to develop biomarkers that can guide prognoses and predict therapy responses. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) and cell-free circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in the blood have emerged as potential promising tumor avatars. Areas covered: In this review, we describe technological breakthroughs and clinical implementation of the CTCs and ctDNA. We also discuss the key challenges that must be overcome before circulating blood-based biomarkers can be universally adopted into the management of patients with metastatic prostate cancer. Expert commentary: Both CTCs and ctDNA have the potential to be incorporated into routine patient care, with increasing numbers of prospective trials incorporating them into clinical designs. CTCs and ctDNA will thus have an increasingly valuable role in augmenting our understanding of prostate cancer at a molecular level, aiding in prognostication of prostate cancer patients, acting as a surrogate for OS in clinical trials, and helping us prioritize our treatment selections by elucidating resistance mechanisms.

Expert review of anticancer therapy. 2017 Jul 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Sunil Parimi, Jenny J Ko

a BC Cancer Agency , 2410 Lee Avenue, Victoria , BC , V8R 4X1 , Canada., b BC Cancer Agency , 32900 Marshall Rd, Abbotsford , BC , V2S 0C2 , Canada.