Circulating tumor cells before and during follow-up after breast cancer surgery

  • van Dalum G
  • van der Stam G
  • Tibbe A
 et al. 
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The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTC) is an independent prognostic factor for progression-free and overall survival for patients with metastatic and newly diagnosed breast cancer. The present study was undertaken to explore whether the presence of CTC before and during follow-up after surgery is associated with recurrence free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS). In a prospective single center study, CTC were enumerated with the CellSearch system in 30 ml of peripheral blood of 403 stage I-III patients before undergoing surgery for breast cancer (A) and if available 1 week after surgery (B), after adjuvant chemo- and/or radiotherapy or before start of long-term hormonal therapy (C), one (D), two (E) and three (F) years after surgery. Patients were stratified into unfavorable (CTC>/=1) and favorable (CTC=0) prognostic groups. >1 CTC in 30 ml blood was detected in 75/403 (19%) at A, 66/367 (18%) at B, 40/263 (15%) at C, 30/235 (12%) at D, 18/144 (11%) at E and 11/83 (13%) at F. RFS and OS was significantly lower for unfavorable CTC as compared to favorable CTC before surgery (p=0.022 and p=0.006), after adjuvant therapy (p

Author-supplied keywords

  • *Mastectomy
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Breast Neoplasms/*blood/mortality/pathology/*surge
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplastic Cells, Circulating/*pathology
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Tumor Markers, Biological/blood

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  • G van Dalum

  • G J van der Stam

  • A G Tibbe

  • B Franken

  • W J Mastboom

  • I Vermes

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