Prognostic relevance of circulating tumor cells in molecular subtypes of breast cancer

M. Banys-Paluchowski*, H. Schneck, C. Blassl, S. Schultz, F. Meier-Stiegen, D. Niederacher, N. Krawczyk, E. Ruckhaeberle, T. Fehm, H. Neubauer

*Corresponding author for this work
10 Citations (Scopus)


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be detected in the peripheral blood of breast cancer patients with early and metastatic disease. Recent data suggest that immune pathologic characteristics between the primary tumor, metastatic colonies and CTCs are discordant and that CTCs possess an independent phenotype that is associated with prognosis and treatment efficacy. Large scale gene expression analysis has provided the possibility to stratify breast cancer according to the gene expression fingerprint of primary tumor tissue into five intrinsic molecular subtypes which can be associated with different clinical outcome. As a consequence of the different prognostic power of primary tumors' characteristics and CTCs several groups have started to investigate if CTCs might be disseminated differentially within these breast cancer subtypes. They determined the CTC number in immunohistochemical subtypes to validate if CTCs may provide differential and more specific prognostic information within each subtype. This review provides an overview of the outcome of some recently published data gathered from early and metastatic breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGeburtshilfe und Frauenheilkunde
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)232-237
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 01.03.2015


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