CTCs in primary breast cancer (I).

Frauenklinik Innenstadt der Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich - Campus Innenstadt, Maistrasse 11, 80337, München, Germany.
Recent results in cancer research. Fortschritte der Krebsforschung. Progrès dans les recherches sur le cancer 01/2012; 195:179-85. DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-28160-0_16
Source: PubMed

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.

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    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: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been studied in breast cancer with the CellSearch(R) system. Given the low CTC counts in non-metastatic breast cancer, it is important to evaluate the inter-reader agreement. CellSearch(R) images (N = 272) of either CTCs or white blood cells or artifacts from 109 non-metastatic (M0) and 22 metastatic (M1) breast cancer patients from reported studies were sent to 22 readers from 15 academic laboratories and 8 readers from two Veridex laboratories. Each image was scored as No CTC vs CTC HER2- vs CTC HER2+. The 8 Veridex readers were summarized to a Veridex Consensus (VC) to compare each academic reader using % agreement and kappa (kappa) statistics. Agreement was compared according to disease stage and CTC counts using the Wilcoxon signed rank test. For CTC definition (No CTC vs CTC), the median agreement between academic readers and VC was 92% (range 69 to 97%) with a median kappa of 0.83 (range 0.37 to 0.93). Lower agreement was observed in images from M0 (median 91%, range 70 to 96%) compared to M1 (median 98%, range 64 to 100%) patients (P < 0.001) and from M0 and <3CTCs (median 87%, range 66 to 95%) compared to M0 and >=3CTCs samples (median 95%, range 77 to 99%), (P < 0.001). For CTC HER2 expression (HER2- vs HER2+), the median agreement was 87% (range 51 to 95%) with a median kappa of 0.74 (range 0.25 to 0.90). The inter-reader agreement for CTC definition was high. Reduced agreement was observed in M0 patients with low CTC counts. Continuous training and independent image review are required.
    Breast cancer research: BCR 04/2014; 16(2):R43. · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The Oncotype DX(®) assay is a validated genomic test that predicts the likelihood of breast cancer recurrence, patient survival within ten years of diagnosis and the benefit of chemotherapy in early-stage, node-negative, estrogen receptor-positive breast cancer. Further markers of recurrence include disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) in the bone marrow (BM) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood, particularly stemness-like tumor cells (slCTCs). In this study, Oncotype DX, DTCs, CTCs and slCTCs were used to evaluate the risk of recurrence in 68 patients with human epidermal growth factor receptor 2-negative, early-stage breast cancer. Formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue sections were analyzed for the expression of 16 cancer genes and 5 reference genes by Oncotype DX, yielding a recurrence score (RS). G2 tumors were evaluated for urokinase-type plasminogen activator (uPA)/plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI1) and Ki-67. Two BM aspirates were analyzed by immunocytochemistry for DTCs using the pan-cytokeratin antibody A45-B/B3. CTCs and slCTCs in the blood were detected using the AdnaTest BreastCancer, AdnaTest EMT and the AdnaTest TumorStemCell. Oncotype DX was performed in 68 cases, yielding a low RS in 30/68 patients (44%), an intermediate RS in 29/68 patients (43%) and a high RS in 9/68 patients (13%). DTCs were detected in 19/68 patients (28%), CTCs in 13/68 patients (19%) and slCTCs in 26/68 (38%) patients. Moreover, 8/68 patients (12%) with G2 tumors were positive for uPA, 6/68 (9%) for PAI1 and 21/68 (31%) for Ki-67. Ki-67, progesterone receptor (PR) and G3 tumors were significantly correlated with RS (P<0.001; P=0.006; and P=0,002, respectively), whereas no correlation was identified between DTCs, CTCs, slCTCs and RS. Ki-67 may support therapeutic decisions in cases where Oncotype DX is not feasible. Larger patient cohorts are required to estimate the additional detection of DTCs and CTCs for the determination of risk recurrence.
    Molecular and Clinical Oncology 11/2013; 1(6):1049-1054.