International Urology and Nephrology

, Volume 50, Issue 10, pp 1801–1809 | Cite as

Comparison of two detection systems for circulating tumor cells among patients with renal cell carcinoma

  • Menglin Bai
  • Benkui Zou
  • Zhendan Wang
  • Pang Li
  • Huansheng Wang
  • Yang Ou
  • Kai Cui
  • Jiasheng Bian
  • Sheng LiEmail author
  • Xiaobin XuEmail author
Urology - Original Paper



Detection of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in cancer patients has diagnostic and prognostic importance. However, the clinical implications of CTC detection in patients with renal cell carcinoma (RCC) are still unclear. In this study, we investigated the clinical significance of CTCs using two detection systems, the CellSearch system (CSS) and isolation by size of epithelial tumor cells (ISET), among RCC patients.


We recruited 36 RCC patients and 22 healthy volunteers as controls. Blood was drawn before treatment. Samples were analyzed using the CSS and ISET. We prospectively followed the RCC patients to determine overall and progression-free survival.


We did not detect CTCs in the control group using either the CSS or ISET. CTCs were detected in 7/36 patients (19.4%) using the CSS and in 13/36 patients (36.1%) using ISET, while circulating microemboli (CTMs) were detected in three patients (8.3%). The presence of ISET-detected CTCs correlated with clinical tumor node metastasis (TNM) stages, while the CSS-detected CTCs did not. After 36 months (median), CTCs detected by both methods failed to correlate with overall and progression-free survival among RCC patients.


We discovered that ISET is more suitable than the CSS for detecting CTCs in RCC patients. The presence of CTCs/CTMs in RCC patients correlated with higher TNM stages, suggesting that the presence of CTCs could be a prognostic marker in RCC patients.


Renal cell carcinoma Circulating tumor cell CellSearch Isolation by size of epithelial tumor cell Prognosis 



This study was supported by the project of major innovation and technology sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology of Shandong Province (Grant Number: 2017CXGC1204). Sincere acknowledgements are given to Dr. Zuowei Lu and Dr. Min Liu for assistance with cytopathologic analysis. The authors would also like to thank Wuhan YZY Medical Technological Co. Ltd. and United States Johnson & Johnson Medical Companies for their outstanding technical support.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declared that they have no conflict of interest to this work.

Ethics approval

This study was approved by the ethical review board of Shandong Cancer Hospital and Institute (approval number: 201405002) and complied with the Helsinki declaration.

Informed consent

Written informed consent was obtained from all participants.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Queen Mary School, Jiangxi Medical CollegeNanchang UniversityNanchangChina
  2. 2.Department of Urological SurgeryShandong Cancer Hospital and InstituteJinanChina
  3. 3.Department of Thoracic SurgeryShandong Cancer Hospital and InstituteJinanChina
  4. 4.Department of Cardiovascular SurgeryGuangzhou Red Cross Hospital Affiliated to Jinan UniversityGuangzhouChina
  5. 5.Department of Hepatobiliary SurgeryShandong Cancer Hospital and InstituteJinanChina
  6. 6.Laboratory of Fear and Anxiety Disorders, Institute of Life ScienceNanchang UniversityNanchangChina

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