Circulating tumour cells as tumour biomarkers in melanoma: detection methods and clinical relevance


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Abstract

Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) are cells of solid tumour origin detectable in the peripheral blood. Their occurrence is considered a prerequisite step for establishing distant metastases. Metastatic melanoma was the first malignancy in which CTCs were detected and numerous studies have been published on CTC detection in melanoma at various stages of disease. In spite of this, there is no general consensus as to the clinical utility of CTCs in melanoma, largely due to conflicting results from heterogeneous studies and discrepancies in methods of detection between studies. In this review, we examine the possible clinical significance of CTCs in cutaneous, mucosal and ocular melanoma, focusing on detection methods and prognostic value of CTC detection.

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