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We aimed to determine the prognosis value of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) undergoing epithelial–mesenchymal transition in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) recurrence. We used CanPatrol CTC-enrichment technique to detect CTCs from blood samples and classify subpopulations into epithelial, mesenchymal, and hybrids. To construct nomogram, prognostic factors were selected by Cox regression analysis. Risk stratification was performed through Kaplan–Meier analysis among the training group (n = 114) and validation group (n = 38). By regression screening, both CTC counts (HR 1.187; 95% CI 1.098–1.752; p = 0.012) and M-CTC (HR 1.098; 95% CI 1.047–1.320; p = 0.009) were demonstrated as independent factors for recurrence. Other variables including pathological grade, FIGO stage, lymph node metastasis, ascites, and CA-125 were also selected (p < 0.005) to construct nomogram. The C-index of internal and external validation for nomogram was 0.913 and 0.874. We found significant predictive values for the nomogram with/without CTCs (AUC 0.8705 and 0.8097). Taking CTC counts and M-CTC into separation, the values were 0.8075 and 0.8262. Finally, survival curves of risk stratification based on CTC counts (p = 0.0241), M-CTC (p = 0.0107), and the nomogram (p = 0.0021) were drawn with significant differences. In conclusion, CTCs could serve as a novel factor for EOC prognosis. Nomogram model constructed by CTCs and other clinical parameters could predict EOC recurrence and perform risk stratification for clinical decision-making. Trial registration Chinese Clinical Trial Registry, ChiCTR-DDD-16009601, October 25, 2016.
Yang, J., Ma, J., Jin, Y., Cheng, S., Huang, S., Zhang, N., & Wang, Y. (2021). Development and validation for prognostic nomogram of epithelial ovarian cancer recurrence based on circulating tumor cells and epithelial–mesenchymal transition. Scientific Reports, 11(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-86122-4