On the Identification of Circulating Tumor Cells in Breast Cancer
S. Sfakianakis, E. S. Bei, M. Zervakis, D. Vassou, and D. Kafetzopoulos
Breast cancer is a highly heterogeneous disease and very common amongst western women. The main cause of death is not the primary tumor but its metastases at distant sites, such as lymph nodes and other organs (preferentially lung, liver and bones). The study of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood resulting from tumor cell invasion and intravascular filtration highlights their crucial role concerning tumor aggressiveness and metastasis. Genomic research regarding CTCs monitoring for breast cancer is limited due to the lack of indicative genes for their detection and isolation. Instead of direct CTC detection, in our study we focus on the identification of factors in peripheral blood that can indirectly reveal the presence of such cells. Using selected publicly available breast cancer and peripheral blood microarray datasets we follow a two-step elimination procedure for the identification of several discriminant factors. Our procedure facilitates the identification of major genes involved in breast cancer pathology, which are also indicative of CTCs presence.