Circulating tumour cells in peripheral blood: potential impact on breast cancer outcome
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In breast cancer, the metastatic process may involve the dissemination of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) through the blood and lymphatic system prior to the colonisation of distant organs. Here we demonstrate the predictive capacity of CTCs for detecting risk of death in breast cancer patients during established time intervals.
CTCs were identified by immunocytochemical methods following isolation by selective immunomagnetic cell separation of cytokeratin-positive cells. Serial blood samples from 65 patients were collected at roughly monthly intervals for up to 50 months. Follow-up was conducted at different intervals: 1–5, >5–12, >12–24 and >24–50 months.
Both presence and number of CTCs were correlated to risk of death: patients with CTCs at any time during follow-up had a higher risk of death (p=0.035) than patients without CTCs. Furthermore, during the first 5 months of therapy, patients with >5 CTCs had a higher risk of death than patients with <5 CTCs (p=0.002).
Our results show that the persistence of CTCs after chemotherapy, particularly during the first 5 months, could define a group of patients with a high risk of relapse.
- Circulating tumour cells in peripheral blood: potential impact on breast cancer outcome
Clinical and Translational Oncology
Volume 13, Issue 3 , pp 204-208
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer Milan
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- Breast cancer
- Circulating tumour cells
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Pfizer — Universidad de Granada — Junta de Andalucía, Centre for Genomics and Oncological Research (GENYO), Health Sciences Technologic Park Avda. de la Ilustración, 114, ES-18007, Granada, Spain
- 2. Department of Health Sciences Faculty of Experimental Sciences, University of Jaén, Jaén, Spain
- 3. Laboratory of Genetic Identification-UGR Department of Legal Medicine, University of Granada, Granada, Spain
- 4. Medical Oncology Department, University Hospital, Jaén, Spain