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Associations between the cyclooxygenase-2 expression in circulating tumor cells and the clinicopathological features of patients with colorectal cancer

Associations between the cyclooxygenase-2 expression in circulating tumor cells and the clinicopathological features of patients with colorectal cancer

Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 2018

While previous studies have shown that the number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) alone is not sufficient to reflect tumor progression and that cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) expression is correlated with colorectal cancer (CRC) metastasis, COX-2 expression status and its potential functions in CTCs of CRC patients are unknown. Here, epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) phenotype-based subsets of CTCs and the COX-2 expression status in CTCs were identified and their potential clinical values were assessed in 91 CRC patients. CTCs were enumerated in peripheral blood and subsets of CTCs (epithelial [eCTCs], mesenchymal [mCTCs], and biophenotypic [bCTCs]) and the COX-2 expression status were determined using the RNA in situ hybridization method. CTCs were detected in 80.2% (73 of 91) patients. Neither the total CTC nor eCTC numbers were found to significantly associate with any of the clinicopathological features. However, the number of mCTCs was significantly associated with distance metastasis (P = 0.035) and had a trend of being associated with lymph node metastasis ( P = 0.055). Among the 73 patients enrolled for evaluating COX-2 expression, 52.5% (38 of 73) were found to express COX-2 in CTCs, and COX-2 expression in CTCs was not found to associate with the clinicopathological factors. However, COX-2 expression in mCTCs tended to have a higher rate in patients with metastasis compared with those without metastasis (72.0% vs 42.8%; P = 0.072). Furthermore, COX-2 expression and mCTC marker expression correlated positively ( R = 0.287; P = 0.017). Further studies are required to investigate the clinical value of the expression of COX-2 in mCTCs, especially in CRC patients with the advanced tumor stage and distant metastasis.

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Accession: 065704924

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PMID: 30260024

DOI: 10.1002/jcb.27768

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