Identification of novel target structures on the actual target cells of systemic therapies

The initial success of personalized therapies in cancer patients with metastatic disease stirred hope at first that patients whose cancer is still at an early stage might also benefit from these therapies. Unfortunately, this hypothesis has been barely substantiated to date, possibly because of the early spreading of cancer cells in the course of the disease and the associated evolution of these genetically very heterogeneous disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) taking place in parallel with that of the primary tumor. This is why we are developing methods for detection of early molecular alterations in single DTCs from bone marrow, lymph nodes, and other organs, occurring in the course of cancer development and possibly representing new target structures for innovative therapies to treat early systemic cancer.



  1. Polzer B and Klein CA. Metastasis awakening: the challenges of targeting minimal residual cancer. Nat Med. 2013 Mar; 19 (3): 274-5. doi: 10.1038/nm.3121. No abstract available.
  2. Stoecklein NH, Klein CA. Genetic disparity between primary tumours, disseminated tumour cells, and manifest metastasis. Int J Cancer. 2010 Feb 1; 126 (3): 589-98. doi: 10.1002/ijc.24916. Review.
  3. Gužvić M, Braun B, Ganzer R, Burger M, Nerlich M, Winkler S, Werner-Klein M, Czyż ZT, Polzer B, Klein CA. Combined genome and transcriptome analysis of single disseminated cancer cells from bone