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Prognostic value of pre- and post-operative circulating tumor cells detection in colorectal cancer patients treated with curative resection: a prospective cohort study based on ISET device

Authors Yang C, Shi D, Wang S, Wei C, Zhang C, Xiong B

Received 8 June 2018

Accepted for publication 20 August 2018

Published 4 October 2018 Volume 2018:10 Pages 4135—4144


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Beicheng Sun

Chaogang Yang,1–3,* Dongdong Shi,1–3,* Shuyi Wang,1–3 Chen Wei,1–3 Chunxiao Zhang,1–3 Bin Xiong1–3

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

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have been regarded as a promising biomarker for colorectal cancer (CRC); however, the prognostic value of post-operative (op) CTCs is still unclear. This study aimed to compare the recurrence prediction value of pre- and post-op CTCs in CRC patients treated with curative resection.
Patients and methods: Consecutive CRC patients treated with curative resection from January 2014 to March 2015 were identified. CTCs from 2.5 mL peripheral blood were enumerated with an ISETdevice-CTCBIOPSY® before and after surgery. Based on the status of pre- and post-op CTCs, the included patients were grouped into four cohorts: pre- and post-op CTCs−, pre-op CTCs− but post-op CTCs+, pre-op CTCs+ but post-op CTCs−, and pre- and post-op CTCs+. The 3-year recurrence-free survival (RFS) rate of patients was analyzed.
Results: A total of 138 patients (79 [57.2%] male; median age=62 [43–75] years) were enrolled. Patients with pre-op CTCs− had a 19.2% higher 3-year RFS rate (86.2%) than the combined cohorts with pre-op CTCs+ (67.0%) (P=0.038). Patients with post-op CTCs+ had aa 25.6% lower 3-year RFS rate (57.1%) than the combined cohorts with post-op CTCs− (82.7%) (P=0.001). Moreover, patients with pre- and post-op CTCs+ had a 25.1% lower 3-year RFS rate (53.8%) than patients with pre-op CTCs+ but post-op CTCs− (78.9%) (P=0.004). Multivariate analyses confirmed that post-op CTCs+ (HR=2.82, 95% CI=1.39–5.75, P=0.004), but not but pre-op CTCs+ (HR=2.17, 95% CI=0.75–6.31, P=0.153), was independently associated with shorter 3-year RFS rate.
Conclusion: Post-op CTCs+, but not pre-op CTCs+, is an independent indicator of poor prognosis for CRC patients treated with curative resection. Patients with post-op CTCs+ have a higher risk of recurrence those with pre-op CTCs+. Evaluation of post-op, rather than pre-op, CTCs is warranted.

Keywords: circulating tumor cells, colorectal cancer, preoperative, postoperative, recurrence

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