(AGENPARL) – LONDON (UNITED KINGDOM), lun 28 settembre 2020
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) detach from primary or metastatic lesions and circulate in the peripheral blood, which is considered to be the cause of distant metastasis. CTC analysis as liquid biopsy, enumeration and molecular analysis could provide significant clinical information for cancer diagnosis, prognosis and therapeutic strategy. Despite these great clinical value, CTC analysis has not yet entered routine clinical practice due to lack of efficient technology to perform CTC isolation and single-cell analysis. Taken the rarity and inherent heterogeneity of CTCs into account, reliable methods for CTC isolation and detection are in urgent demand for the purpose of obtaining valuable information on cancer metastasis and progression from CTCs. Microfluidic technology, featured by microfabricated structures, can precisely control fluids and cells at micrometer scale, thus making itself a particularly suitable method for rare CTCs manipulation. Besides the enrichment function, microfluidic chips can also realize the analysis function by integrating multiple detection technologies. In this review, we summarized the recent progress in CTC isolation and detection using microfluidic technologies, with special attention to emerging direct enrichment and enumeration in vivo. Besides, some insights into single CTC molecular analysis was also demonstrated. In the end, we provided a review of the potential clinical application of CTCs, ranging from early screening and diagnosis, tumor progression and prognosis, treatment and resistance monitoring, to therapeutic evaluation. Through this review we drew the conclusion that the clinical utility of CTCs will be expanded as isolation and analysis techniques are constantly improving.