Genomic instability and circulating tumor cells in prostate cancer

Sabine Mai


Current clinical challenges in the management of prostate cancer patients make the use of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) an attractive option. Tissue biopsies rarely represent the whole tumor, and there is significant intra- and inter-patient tumor heterogeneity even for patients who receive the identical pathological tumor grading. CTCs have been shown to harbor genetic changes found in both the primary and metastatic tumors. They offer the opportunity of multiple and less invasive sampling from the patient’s blood, and allow for the monitoring of the dynamic process of tumor evolution. The genomic instability (GI) present in CTCs is poised to allow for more accurate patient management.