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Reliability of using circulating tumor cells for detecting epidermal growth factor receptor mutation status in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer patients: a meta-analysis and systematic review

Authors Hu F, Mao XW, Zhang YJ, Zheng XX, Gu P, Wang HM, Zhang XY

Received 30 November 2017

Accepted for publication 9 January 2018

Published 14 March 2018 Volume 2018:11 Pages 1373—1384

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/OTT.S158479

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Manfred Beleut

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Carlos E Vigil

Fang Hu,* Xiaowei Mao,* Yujun Zhang, Xiaoxuan Zheng, Ping Gu, Huimin Wang, Xueyan Zhang

Department of Pulmonary Medicine, Shanghai Chest Hospital, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Purpose: To evaluate the clinical value of circulating tumor cells as a surrogate to detect epidermal growth factor receptor mutation in advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients.
Methods: We searched the electronic databases, and all articles meeting predetermined selection criteria were included in this study. The pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio were calculated. The evaluation indexes of the diagnostic performance were the summary receiver operating characteristic curve and area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curve.
Results: Eight eligible publications with 255 advanced NSCLC patients were included in this meta-analysis. Taking tumor tissues as reference, the pooled sensitivity, specificity, positive likelihood ratio, negative likelihood ratio, and diagnostic odds ratio of circulating tumor cells for detecting the epidermal growth factor receptor mutation status were found to be 0.82 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.50–0.95), 0.95 (95% CI: 0.24–1.00), 16.81 (95% CI: 0.33–848.62), 0.19 (95% CI: 0.06–0.64), and 86.81 (95% CI: 1.22–6,154.15), respectively. The area under the summary receiver operating characteristic curve was 0.92 (95% CI: 0.89–0.94). The subgroup analysis showed that the factors of blood volume, histological type, EGFR-tyrosine kinase inhibitor therapy, and circulating tumor cell and tissue test methods for EGFR accounted for the significant difference of the pooled specificity. No significant difference was found between the pooled sensitivity of the subgroup.
Conclusion: Our meta-analysis confirmed that circulating tumor cells are a good surrogate for detecting epidermal growth factor receptor mutation when tumor tissue is unavailable in advanced NSCLC patients, but more precise techniques are needed to improve their clinical efficiency.

Keywords: non-small-cell lung cancer, circulating tumor cell, epidermal growth factor receptor, meta-analysis

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