Diagnostic Technologies for Circulating Tumour Cells and Exosomes
Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) and exosomes are promising circulating biomarkers. They exist in easily accessible blood and carry large diversity of molecular information. As such, they can be easily and repeatedly obtained for minimally invasive cancer diagnosis and monitoring. Because of their intrinsic differences in counts, size and molecular contents, CTCs and exosomes pose unique sets of technical challenges for clinical translation–CTCs are rare whereas exosomes are small. Novel technologies are underway to overcome these specific challenges to fully harness the clinical potential of these circulating biomarkers. Herein, we will overview the characteristics of CTCs and exosomes as valuable circulating biomarkers and their associated technical challenges for clinical adaptation. Specifically, we will describe emerging technologies that have been developed to address these technical obstacles and the unique clinical opportunities enabled by technological innovations.
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