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Prognostic value of circulating tumor cells detected with the CellSearch System in patients with gastric cancer: evidence from a meta-analysis

Authors Yang C, Zou K, Yuan Z, Guo T, Xiong B

Received 14 October 2017

Accepted for publication 16 January 2018

Published 26 February 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1013—1023


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 6

Editor who approved publication: Dr Ingrid Espinoza

Chaogang Yang,1–3,* Kun Zou,4,* Zewei Yuan,1–3 Tangxi Guo,1–3 Bin Xiong1–3

1Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery & Department of Gastric and Colorectal Surgical Oncology, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, 2Hubei Key Laboratory of Tumor Biological Behaviors, 3Hubei Cancer Clinical Study Center, 4Department of Oncology, Central Hospital of Wuhan, Wuhan, Hubei, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been proposed as a marker for predicting the prognosis of cancer. However, the prognostic value of CTCs detected with the CellSearch System in patients with gastric cancer (GC) remains controversial. We performed a meta-analysis of available studies to investigate this topic.
Methods: Two authors systematically searched the studies independently in PubMed, Science Citation Index, Cochrane Database, Embase, and the references in relevant studies (up to September 2017) using keywords. Our meta-analysis was performed in Stata software, version 12.0 (2011; Stata Corp, College Station, TX, USA), with the risk ratio (RR), hazard ratio (HR), and 95% CI as the effect measures. Subgroup analyses and meta-regression were also conducted.
Results: Seven studies (including eight sets of data) containing 579 patients with GC from four countries were included in this meta-analysis. The pooled results showed CTC-positive status detected by the CellSearch System was significantly associated with poor overall survival (HR =2.09, 95% CI [1.71, 2.55], P<0.001, I2=31.5%) and progression-free survival (HR =2.11, 95% CI [1.25, 3.57], P=0.005, I2=75.6%) of patients with GC, regardless of sampling time. The disease control rate of CTC-positive group was lower than that of CTC-negative group for both baseline and intra-therapy, although no statistical difference existed at both sampling time points (baseline: 69.5% versus 81.8%, RR=0.79, 95% CI [0.54, 1.16], P=0.23, I2=68.0%; intra-therapy: 50.0% versus 85.9%, RR=0.24, 95% CI [0.02, 3.13], P=0.28, I2=87.4%).
Conclusion: Our meta-analysis demonstrated that CTCs detected with the CellSearch System from the peripheral blood had significant prognostic value and might predict poor response to chemotherapy for patients with GC.

Keywords: circulating tumor cells, gastric cancer, chemotherapy, prognosis, meta-analysis

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