Introduction: The CellSearch® CTC test enumerates tumor cells present in 7.5 ml blood of cancer patients. improvements, extensions and different utilities of the cellsearch system are discussed in this paper. Areas covered: This paper describes work performed with the CellSearch system, which go beyond the normal scope of the test. All results from searches with the search term ‘CellSearch’ from Web of Science and PubMed were categorized and discussed. Expert commentary: The CellSearch Circulating Tumor Cell test captures and identifies tumor cells in blood that are associated with poor clinical outcome. How to best use CTC in clinical practice is being explored in many clinical trials. The ability to extract information from the CTC to guide therapy will expand the potential clinical utility of CTC.