A Systematic Review of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) in Renal Cell Carcinoma (RCC)

Document Type : Systematic Review/ Meta-analysis


1 Urology Research Center, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Monoclonal antibody Research Center, Avicenna Research Institute, ACECR, Tehran, Iran



Introduction: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is one of the most usual kidney’s tumors. The possibility of relapse is about 20–30% and high mortality rate. The improvement of non-invasive biomarkers will make it feasible to investigate whose have high risk of recurrence after radical or partial nephrectomy and will expand the valuation of tumor response to several treatment strategies. In this perspective, liquid biopsy suggest a talented perception for cancer diagnosis and monitoring, with several benefits versus to traditional RCC diagnostic processes and can be taken into the account of the present RCC diagnosis and controlling strategies.
Methods: In this systematic review, we considered both CTCs count and molecular markers in RCC patient management. A systematic search on several databases like PubMed, Scopus, Embase, and Web of Science was directed which led to the final 24 studies considering the impact of CTCs on both diagnosis and prognosis of RCC.
Results: Several primary studies consider the CTCs quantitation as the tumor representing components which basically are based immunomagnetic separation procedure. The magnetic cell sorting (MACS) technique, cell search, Tapered-slit filter (photosensitive polymer-based microfilter), CELLection™ Dynabeads® coated with the monoclonal antibodies, and ISET® - Isolation by Size of Tumor cells. If CTCs wanted to be recruited for prognosis of RCC and progression free survival (PFS) it is better to checked by gene expression profile through quantitative polymerase chain reaction analysis (Real Time-PCR) or in situ hybridization of CTC’s RNA molecules.
Conclusion: CTCs detection as the main Liquid biopsy component has the excessive clinical impact on cancer management. Nevertheless, usual methods have some limitations when directing for the recognition of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) with high efficiency and low cost. Some CTCs molecular markers and gene expression profiling of CTCs should be considered for RCC prognosis.


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