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Blood contains a diverse cell population of low concentration hematopoietic as well as non-hematopoietic cells. The majority of such rare cells may be bone marrow-derived progenitor and stem cells. This paucity of circulating rare cells, in particular in the peripheral circulation, has led many to believe that bone marrow as well as other organ-related cell egress into the circulation is a response to pathological conditions. Little is known about this, though an increasing body of literature can be found suggesting commonness of certain rare cell types in the peripheral blood under physiological conditions. Thus, the isolation and detection of circulating rare cells appears to be merely a technological problem. Knowledge about rare cell types that may circulate the blood stream will help to advance the field of cell-based liquid biopsy by supporting inter-platform comparability, making use of biological correct cutoffs and "mining" new biomarkers and combinations thereof in clinical diagnosis and therapy. Therefore, this review intends to lay ground for a comprehensive analysis of the peripheral blood rare cell population given the necessity to target a broader range of cell types for improved biomarker performance in cell-based liquid biopsy.


Stefan Schreier, Wannapong Triampo. The Blood Circulating Rare Cell Population. What is it and What is it Good For? Cells. 2020 Mar 25;9(4)

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PMID: 32218149

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