Circulating tumour cells in early breast cancer

Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Division, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA, USA.
The Lancet Oncology (Impact Factor: 24.69). 09/2012; 13(9):e370-1; author reply e371. DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70336-4
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Pathologic TNM staging is currently the best prognostic factor for non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). However, even in early-stage NSCLC, the recurrence rates after surgery range from 25% to 50%. The preoperative detection of circulating tumor cells (CTC) could be useful to tailor new therapeutic strategies in NSCLC. We assessed the presence of CTC in NSCLC patients undergoing surgery, using cytologic analyses, after their isolation by size of epithelial tumor cells (ISET method). The presence and the number of CTCs were considered and correlated with clinicopathologic parameters including patient follow-up. Of the 247 blood samples tested, 208 samples were from patients with resectable NSCLC and 39 from healthy subjects. The mean follow-up was 24 months. An image of detected cells with presumably nonhematologic features [initially defined as "circulating nonhematologic cells" (CNHC)] was recorded. The presence of CNHC was assessed blindly and independently by 10 cytopathologists, using cytologic criteria of malignancy on stained filters. The count of detected CNHCs was made for each filter. One hundred two of 208 (49%) patients showed CNHCs corresponding to CNHC with malignant cytopathologic features in 76 of 208 (36%) cases. CNHCs were not detected in the control group. A level of 50 or more CNHCs corresponding to the third quartile was associated with shorter overall and disease-free-survival, independently of disease staging, and with a high risk of recurrence and death in early-stage I + II-resectable NSCLC. A high percentage of NSCLC patients show preoperative detection of CNHC by the ISET method. The presence and level of 50 or more CNHCs are associated with worse survival of patients with resectable NSCLC.
    Clinical Cancer Research 02/2011; 17(4):827-35. DOI:10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-10-0445 · 8.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of circulating tumour cells correlate with poor prognosis in metastatic breast cancer, but there are few data describing the importance of circulating tumour cells in patients with non-metastatic disease. Our aim was to establish if circulating tumour cells predicted worse outcome in patients with non-metastatic breast cancer. We prospectively collected data on circulating tumour cells at the time of definitive surgery from chemonaive patients with stage 1-3 breast cancer from February, 2005, to December, 2010. We deemed eligible all patients with operable breast cancer presenting at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, TX, USA). Patients were ineligible if they had bilateral breast cancer or any other malignancy within 5 years of the diagnosis of the present cancer. We measured circulating tumour cells with the CellSearch System (Veridex, Raritan, NJ). We correlated findings of circulating tumour cells with standard tumour characteristics, including tumour size and grade; oestrogen and progesterone receptor and human epidural growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) status; and axillary lymph node status with χ(2) or Fisher exact tests. We assessed outcomes at a median follow-up of 35 months. Log-rank test and Cox regression analysis was applied to establish the association of circulating tumour cells with progression-free and overall survival. No patients reported adverse events or complications from blood collections. We identified one or more circulating tumour cells in 73 (24%) of 302 patients. Detection of one or more circulating tumour cells predicted both decreased progression-free survival (log-rank p=0·005; hazard ratio [HR] 4·62, 95% CI 1·79-11·9) and overall survival (log-rank p=0·01; HR 4·04, 1·28-12·8). The presence of one or more circulating tumour cells predicted early recurrence and decreased overall survival in chemonaive patients with non-metastatic breast cancer. These results suggest that assessment of circulating tumour cells might provide important prognostic information in these patients. Society of Surgical Oncology, Morgan Welch Inflammatory Breast Cancer Program, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and the State of Texas Rare and Aggressive Breast Cancer Research Program.
    The Lancet Oncology 06/2012; 13(7):688-95. DOI:10.1016/S1470-2045(12)70209-7 · 24.69 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Circulating tumor cell (CTC) counts are an established prognostic marker in metastatic prostate, breast and colorectal cancer, and recent data suggest a similar role in late stage non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, due to sensitivity constraints in current enrichment-based CTC detection technologies, there are few published data about CTC prevalence rates and morphologic heterogeneity in early-stage NSCLC, or the correlation of CTCs with disease progression and their usability for clinical staging. We investigated CTC counts, morphology and aggregation in early stage, locally advanced and metastatic NSCLC patients by using a fluid-phase biopsy approach that identifies CTCs without relying on surface-receptor-based enrichment and presents them in sufficiently high definition (HD) to satisfy diagnostic pathology image quality requirements. HD-CTCs were analyzed in blood samples from 78 chemotherapy-naïve NSCLC patients. 73% of the total population had a positive HD-CTC count (>0 CTC in 1 mL of blood) with a median of 4.4 HD-CTCs mL−1 (range 0–515.6) and a mean of 44.7 (±95.2) HD-CTCs mL−1. No significant difference in the medians of HD-CTC counts was detected between stage IV (n = 31, range 0–178.2), stage III (n = 34, range 0–515.6) and stages I/II (n = 13, range 0–442.3). Furthermore, HD-CTCs exhibited a uniformity in terms of molecular and physical characteristics such as fluorescent cytokeratin intensity, nuclear size, frequency of apoptosis and aggregate formation across the spectrum of staging. Our results demonstrate that despite stringent morphologic inclusion criteria for the definition of HD-CTCs, the HD-CTC assay shows high sensitivity in the detection and characterization of both early- and late-stage lung cancer CTCs. Extensive studies are warranted to investigate the prognostic value of CTC profiling in early-stage lung cancer. This finding has implications for the design of extensive studies examining screening, therapy and surveillance in lung cancer patients.
    Physical Biology 02/2012; 9(1):016005. DOI:10.1088/1478-3967/9/1/016005 · 2.54 Impact Factor