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 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. DOI:10.3892/mco.2013.174
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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. DOI:10.1186/bcr3647 · 5.88 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The primary cause of tumor-related death in breast cancer (BC) is still represented by distant metastasization. The dissemination of tumor cells from the primary tumor to distant sites through bloodstream cannot be early detected by standard imaging methods. The enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) represents an effective prognostic and predictive biomarker, which is able to monitor efficacy of adjuvant therapies, detect early development of (micro)metastases and at last, assess therapeutic responses of advanced disease earlier than traditional imaging methods. Moreover, since repeated tissue biopsies are invasive, costly and not always feasible, the assessment of tumor characteristics on CTCs, by a peripheral blood sample as a ‘liquid biopsy’, represents an attractive opportunity. The implementation of molecular and genomic characterization of CTCs could contribute to improve the treatment selection and thus, to move toward more personalized treatments. This review describes the current state of the art on CTC detection strategies, the evidence to demonstrate their clinical validity, and their potential impact for both future clinical trial design and, decision-making process in our daily practice.