CIRCULATING TUMOR CELLS IN RECTAL CANCER PATIENTS – A REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE
Rectal cancer treatment has been continuously improving in the past decades and research has rightly been directed for this purpose, because this is a major public health issue. On the other hand, circulating tumor cells have emerged in the past two decades as an important element in oncology, because of the large potential they offer. They have been studied mostly in breast cancer and have already been implemented as a tool in certain strategies in this field. Thus, circulating tumor cells in rectal cancer may have the same important applicability, with a wide range of usages, from screening to diagnostics, guidance of the treatment and even follow-up. This article aims to review the literature and exhibit data about the pathophysiology, utility and methods of identification of circulating tumor cells with focus on their link to rectal cancer.
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