CTCs in primary breast cancer (I).
ABSTRACT The prognostic and predictive value of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in primary breast cancer patients is subject of several recent publications. In the context of neoadjuvant chemotherapy CTCs were detected in 22-23% of patients before and in 10-17% after systemic treatment. These findings did not correlate with primary tumor characteristics or tumor response rates. One major trial evaluated the prognostic value of CTCs in 2.026 primary breast cancer patients after tumor resection but before adjuvant chemotherapy. The prevalence of CTCs was 22%. In multivariate analysis, the presence of CTCs before treatment was shown to be an independent predictor for both disease-free (hazard ratio; HR 1.88) and overall survival (HR 1.91). Results demonstrate that not only the mere presence but also the quantity of CTCs is associated with worse outcome. The risk for recurrence or tumor-related death increased with higher numbers of CTCs detected (≥5 CTCs: HR 4.04 for DFS and 3.05 for OAS; p < 0.05). In subsequent analyses of smaller subgroups within this trial, using a cutoff for positivity of >1 CTC, 10% of patients with the detection of CTCs before chemotherapy remained CTC-positive after completion of chemotherapy. Eight percentage of initially negative patients showed CTCs immediately after chemotherapy. Early data demonstrate that persisting CTCs after cytostatic treatment correlate with a decreased disease-free survival (p = 0.0623). Increasing evidence confirms the prognostic relevance of CTCs in primary breast cancer. CTC detection could help to identify patients with increased risk for relapse. Present trials will show whether CTCs can also be used as a valid tool for treatment monitoring or direct treatment target.
- SourceAvailable from: Hatem A Azim[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The role of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in HER2-positive breast cancer patients receiving neoadjuvant therapy is unclear. We describe the CTC detection rate, HER2 phenotyping and pathological complete response (pCR) in patients enrolled in the NeoALTTO phase III trial. Participation in the CTC sub-study was optional. CTC evaluation was performed centrally using CellSearch(®) at baseline, week 2 and week 18 (prior to surgery) of neoadjuvant therapy. Samples for CTC analysis were available for 51/455 patients randomized. At baseline, week 2 and week 18, we detected ≥1 CTC/22.5 ml in 5/46 (11%), 4/41 (10%), and 5/31 (16%) patients and ≥1 HER2-positive CTC/22.5 ml in 2/46 (4%), 2/41 (5%), and 3/31 (10%) patients with evaluable samples, respectively. 11/51 patients (21%) had ≥1 CTC/22.5 ml in at least one time point. pCR was observed in 3/11 (27.3%) versus 17/40 (42.5%) patients with detectable and no detectable CTCs, respectively (p = 0.36). No pCR was observed in the three patients with detectable HER2-positive CTCs prior to surgery. Numerically lower pCR rates were observed in patients with detectable CTCs, yet the study remains underpowered. A meta-analysis of CTC studies in this setting is warranted.Breast (Edinburgh, Scotland) 09/2013; · 2.09 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: PURPOSE: The detection of disseminated tumor cells in the bone marrow (DTC-BM) of breast cancer patients is an independent prognostic factor. In recent years, the focus of research was on finding methods for the detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) in peripheral blood (PB). In this study, we investigated the presence of DTC-BM and CTC by simultaneous examinations in 202 patients at different stages of the disease. METHODS: Immunocytochemical examination of DTC-BM (10-20 ml of BM) with the anti-cytokeratin (CK) antibody A45B/B3 followed a standardized protocol. Analysis of PB (7.5 ml) for the presence of CTC was performed with the CellSearch Analyzer system (Veridex, Raritan, NJ, USA). RESULTS: Overall, DTC-BM were detected in 57/202 (28.2 %, 1->1,000 DTC) and CTC in 41/202 (20.3 %, 1-411 CTC) patients. Congruence of findings was 71.3 % (144/202, p = .002). In 147 pts with primary diagnosis, congruence of results was 69.4 % (102/147). There was no significant correlation between DTC or CTC and the established pathological factors. After a median follow-up time of 34 months (0-82), presence of CTC was borderline significant for tumor-associated death (p = .060). For 41 patients at recurrence-free follow-up, congruence of results was 75.6 % (31/41, p = .018). In this group, there was a patient with both the highest DTC (>1,000) and CTC (411) count, and she presented with distant metastases 3 months later and had died 5 months after that. Of 14 patients with metastatic disease, 9 showed both DTC and CTC (overall congruence 78.6 %, p = .176). CONCLUSION: There was significant congruence between DTC and CTC, which even increased in patients at follow-up and in those with metastases. Repeated CTC examinations could be a valuable tool for monitoring patients or the effectiveness of therapies.Journal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology 03/2013; · 2.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Endocrine treatment is the most preferable systemic treatment in metastatic breast cancer patients that have had an estrogen receptor (ER) positive primary tumor or metastatic lesions, however, approximately 20% of these patients do not benefit from the therapy and demonstrate further metastatic progress. One reason for failure of endocrine therapy might be the heterogeneity of ER expression in tumor cells spreading from the primary tumor to distant sites which is reflected in detectable circulating tumor cells (CTCs). A sensitive and specific staining protocol for ER, keratin 8/18/19, CD45 was established. Peripheral blood from 35 metastatic breast cancer patients with ER-positive primary tumors was tested for the presence of CTCs. Keratin 8/18/19 and DAPI positive but CD45 negative cells were classified as CTCs and evaluated for ER staining. Subsequently, eight individual CTCs from four index patients (2 CTCs per patient) were isolated and underwent whole genome amplification and ESR1 gene mutation analysis. CTCs were detected in blood of 16 from 35 analyzed patients (46%), with a median of 3 CTCs/7.5 ml. In total, ER-negative CTCs were detected in 11/16 (69%) of the CTC positive cases, including blood samples with only ER-negative CTCs (19%) and samples with both ER-positive and ER-negative CTCs (50%). No correlation was found between the intensity and/or percentage of ER staining in the primary tumor with the number and ER status of CTCs of the same patient. ESR1 gene mutations were not found. CTCs frequently lack ER expression in metastatic breast cancer patients with ER-positive primary tumors and show a considerable intra-patient heterogeneity, which may reflect a mechanism to escape endocrine therapy. Provided single cell analysis did not support a role of ESR1 mutations in this process.PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(9):e75038. · 3.73 Impact Factor