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Circulating giant macrophages as a potential biomarker of solid tumors

Adams, Daniel L., Martin, Stuart S., Alpaugh, R. Katherine, Charpentier, Monica, Tsai, Susan, Bergan, Raymond C., Ogden, Irene M., Catalona, William, Chumsri, Saranya, Tang, Cha-Mei, Cristofanilli, Massimo
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2014 v.111 no.9 pp. 3514-3519
biomarkers, blood, cell movement, macrophages, metastasis, neoplasm cells, patients, prostatic neoplasms, sowing
Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) derived from primary tumors are believed to facilitate circulating tumor cell (CTC) seeding of distant metastases, but the mechanisms of these processes are poorly understood. Although many studies have focused on the migration of CTCs, less attention has been given to TAMs that, like CTCs, derive from tumor sites. Using precision microfilters under low-flow conditions, we isolated circulating cancer-associated macrophage-like cells (CAMLs) from the peripheral blood of patients with breast, pancreatic, or prostate cancer. CAMLs, which are not found in healthy individuals, were found to express epithelial, monocytic, and endothelial protein markers and were observed bound to CTCs in circulation. These data support the hypothesis that disseminated TAMs can be used as a biomarker of advanced disease and suggest that they have a participatory role in tumor cell migration.