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Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients within a Randomized, Phase II Trial: TBCRC 019



Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Metastatic Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients within a Randomized, Phase II Trial: TBCRC 019



Clinical Cancer Research 21(12): 2771-2779



Circulating tumor cells (CTC) are prognostic in metastatic breast cancer (MBC). We tested whether EpCAM-based capture system (CellSearch) is effective in patients with triple-negative (TN) MBC, and whether CTC apoptosis and clustering enhances the prognostic role of CTC. CTC enumeration and apoptosis were determined using the CXC CellSearch kit at baseline and days 15 and 29 in blood drawn from TN MBC patients who participated in a prospective randomized phase II trial of nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel) with or without tigatuzumab. Association between levels of CTC and patient outcomes was assessed using logistic regression, Kaplan-Meier curves, and Cox proportional hazards modeling. Nineteen of 52 (36.5%), 14 of 52 (26.9%), and 13 of 49 (26.5%) patients who were evaluable had elevated CTC (≥5 CTC/7.5 mL whole blood) at baseline and at days 15 and 29, respectively. Patients with elevated versus not elevated CTC at each time point had worse progression-free survival (PFS; P = 0.005, 0.0003, 0.0002, respectively). The odds of clinical benefit response for those who had elevated versus low CTC at baseline and days 15 and 29 were 0.25 (95% CI: 0.08-0.84; P = 0.024), 0.19 (95% CI: 0.05-0.17; P = 0.014), and 0.06 (95% CI: 0.01-0.33; P = 0.001), respectively. There was no apparent prognostic effect comparing CTC apoptosis versus non-apoptosis. Presence of CTC cluster at day 15 and day 29 was associated with shorter PFS. CTC were detected using CellSearch assay in approximately one-third of TN MBC patients. Elevated CTC at baseline and days 15 and 29 were prognostic, and reductions in CTC levels reflected response.

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Accession: 058850698

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 25779948

DOI: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-14-2781


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