Dr. Howard Scher on circulating tumor cells

A new article by Dr. Howard Scher of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center on the OncologySTAT web site discusses recent developments in the application of levels of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in clinical practice and in the assessment of outcomes in clinical trials. (To review this article you do have to register withn the OncologySTAT web site, but there is not charge associated with registration.)

Dr. Scher is an acknowledged authority on the relevance of CTCs in the prognosis of patients with advanced forms of prostate cancer and the potential of CTC levels as a surrogate endpoint for clinical endpoints in clinical trials.

He is careful to point out that, at this time:

  • Only one type of test for one type of CTC has been approved for clinical use by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
  • CTCs have not yet been given clearance by the FDA as markers that meet criteria for use as a surrogate endpoint in clinical trials.

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