Andergassen, Ulrich; Kölbl, Alexandra C.; Hutter, Stefan; Friese, Klaus; Jeschke, Udo (2013): Detection of Circulating Tumour Cells from Blood of Breast Cancer Patients via RT-qPCR. In: Cancers, Vol. 5, Nr. 4: S. 1212-1220




Breast cancer is still the most frequent cause of cancer-related death in women worldwide. Often death is not caused only by the primary tumour itself, but also by metastatic lesions. Today it is largely accepted, that these remote metastases arise out of cells, which detach from the primary tumour, enter circulation, settle down at secondary sites in the body and are called Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs). The occurrence of such minimal residual diseases in the blood of breast cancer patients is mostly linked to a worse prognosis for therapy outcome and overall survival. Due to their very low frequency, the detection of CTCs is, still a technical challenge. RT-qPCR as a highly sensitive method could be an approach for CTC-detection from peripheral blood of breast cancer patients. This assumption is based on the fact that CTCs are of epithelial origin and therefore express a different gene panel than surrounding blood cells. For the technical approach it is necessary to identify appropriate marker genes and to correlate their gene expression levels to the number of tumour cells within a sample in an in vitro approach. After that, samples from adjuvant and metastatic patients can be analysed. This approach may lead to new concepts in diagnosis and treatment