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Prospective Study of the Clinical Impact of Epithelial and Mesenchymal Circulating Tumor Cells in Localized Prostate Cancer

Authors Liu H, Ding J, Wu Y, Wu D, Qi J

Received 19 March 2020

Accepted for publication 7 May 2020

Published 15 June 2020 Volume 2020:12 Pages 4549—4560


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Seema Singh

Hailong Liu,* Jie Ding,* Yanyuan Wu, Di Wu, Jun Qi

Department of Urology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200092, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Jun Qi
Department of Urology, Xinhua Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine, No. 1665 Kongjiang Road, Shanghai 200092, People’s Republic of China

Background: Although circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are considered as a surrogate marker in monitoring disease progression and treatment response in late stage prostate cancer (PCa), its clinical impact in localized PCa remains unclear, indicating the limitation that is simply based on cell count. This perspective observational study aimed to detect the epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) subtypes of CTCs in localized PCa and analyze their clinical relevance and application in predicting PCa stages before surgery compared with the Partin table.
Patients and Methods: Between August 2017 and April 2019, 80 newly diagnosed localized PCa patients were enrolled in the study. Peripheral blood samples (5 mL) were collected prior to surgery. The CanPatrolTM CTC enrichment technique, a size-based isolation method, was used to detect the EMT CTCs. Clinical relevance of the CTCs was analyzed with Spearman’s rank correlation test. Models to predict pathological were built with multivariate logistic regression. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and area under the curve (AUC) analysis were performed to evaluate the accuracy of the prediction model.
Results: CTCs were detected in 55% of all patients. The biophenotypic CTCs were most valuable and closely correlated with PSA, Gleason score, D’Amico risk classification, and pathological stage in localized PCa. The mesenchymal subtype was rare in this population but associated with seminal vesicle invasion, while the epithelial subtype had limited clinical significance. In addition, the biophenotypic CTCs combined with traditional clinical variables were analyzed by multivariate logistic regression to predict organ-confined disease before surgery, of which the AUC reached 0.818 and was superior to the Partin table 2017 in our cohort.
Conclusion: This study highlights the clinical impact of the biophenotypic CTCs in localized PCa, which was most closely related to clinical variables and could help to predict pathology outcomes before surgery.

Keywords: circulating tumor cells, localized prostate cancer, EMT

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