Circulating tumor cells as prognostic marker in pancreatic cancer


WORLD JOURNAL OF CLINICAL ONCOLOGY, no.2, 2024 (ESCI) identifier identifier


In this editorial we comment on the article by Zhang et al published in the recent issue of the World Journal of Clinical Oncology. Pancreatic cancer is the fourth most common cause of cancer-related mortality and has the lowest survival rate among all solid cancers. It causes 227000 deaths annually worldwide, and the 5-year survival rate is very low due to early metastasis, which is 4.6%. Cancer survival increases with better knowledge of risk factors and early and accurate diagnosis. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are tumor cells that intravasate from the primary tumor or metastasis foci into the peripheral blood circulation system spontaneously or during surgical operations. Detection of CTC in blood is promising for early diagnosis. In addition, studies have associated high CTC levels with a more advanced stage, and more intensive treatments should be considered in cases with high CTC. In tumors that are considered radiologically resectable, it may be of critical importance in detecting occult metastases and preventing unnecessary surgeries.