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CTC Study May Lead to Liquid Biopsies to Detect Early Brain Metastases

04:18 EDT 4 Aug 2017 | Genetic Engineering News

Scientists at the Houston Methodist Research Institute say their identification of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the bloodstream of patients who have breast cancer brain metastases could lead to the creation of more sensitive screening tools. More specifically, they hope to develop a blood test that can identify breast cancer patients at increased risk for developing brain metastasis and that can follow disease progression and response to treatment in real time. They reported their study (“Molecular characterization of breast cancer CTCs associated with brain metastasis”) in Nature Communications . “,,,we discovered a unique ‘circulating tumor cell gene signature’ that is distinct from primary breast cancer tissues. Further dissection of the circulating tumor cell gene signature identified signaling pathways associated with BCBM [breast cancer brain metastasis] CTCs that may have roles in potentiating BCBM,” write the investigators. “This study proposes CTC biomarkers and signaling pathways implicated in BCBM ...

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