HER2-positive DTCs/CTCs in breast cancer

Andreas D. Hartkopf, Malgorzata Banys, Tanja Fehm

17 Citations (Scopus)


The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood as well as disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in the bone marrow of breast cancer patients is associated with a worsened prognosis in the primary as well as in the metastatic situation. Next to their detection, evaluation of human epidermal growth factor receptor (HER2) expression is a valuable feature of CTCs/DTCs. As the HER2 status may change during disease progression CTCs/DTCs might (1) characterize the phenotype of minimal residual disease in the adjuvant setting and (2) serve as a "real time biopsy" of metastatic breast cancer. Phenotyping of CTCs/DTCs will thus help to understand mechanism of resistance to HER2-directed therapy. Moreover, patients that are likely to benefit from HER2-directed therapy despite a HER2-negative primary tumor might be identified.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationMinimal Residual Disease and Circulating Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer
EditorsMichail Ignatiadis, Christos Sotiriou, Klaus Pantel
Number of pages13
Publication date2012
ISBN (Print)9783642281594
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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