Circulating tumor cells

Circulating tumor cells (CTC's) refer to cells that have shed into the blood stream or lymphatics from a primary tumor. They are thought constitute "seeds" for the subsequent development of metastases.

History and etymology

They were first observed in blood in a patient with metastatic cancer by Thomas Ashworth in 1869.

Article information

rID: 69664
System: Oncology
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Circulating tumor cells

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