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Circulating tumor cells in breast cancer patients
Bielčiková, Zuzana ; Zemanová, Milada (advisor) ; Gürlich, Robert (referee) ; Fínek, Jindřich (referee)
Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) represent a systemic phase of the localised cancer disease. They can be distinguished and enriched from the peripheral blood and so from the surrounding leukocytes by either physical properties (e.g., density and size) or biological properties (e.g., expression of epithelial proteins such as EpCAM or cytokeratins) and are usually further characterized by immunostaining or RT-PCR assays. Selecting patients with the risk of disease relaps at the time of diagnosis is crucial for clinicians in deciding who should, and who should not, receive adjuvant chemotherapy. We know that CTCs are strong prognostic factor in patients with metastatic as well as localized breast cancer (BC). It is also known that the prognostic power of circulating tumor cells in women with BC is independent from the standard prognostic indicators. Testing of CTCs known recently as "liquid biopsy" could be informative not only as predictor of the disease relapse, but also as the predictor of therapy effectiveness. The clinical use of CTCs must be strictly encouraged by clinical trials results. Monitoring of CTCs in time could zoom in the mechanism of therapy resistance and/or may provide the identification of new druggable targets. The purpose of my work was therefore to assess the CTCs positivity rate...

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