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Br J Cancer. 2012 Jan 31;106(3):508-16. doi: 10.1038/bjc.2011.545. Epub 2011 Dec 20.

A pilot study to explore circulating tumour cells in pancreatic cancer as a novel biomarker.

Author information

1
Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology Group, Paterson Institute for Cancer Research, Wilmslow Road, Manchester M20 4BX, UK.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Obtaining tissue for pancreatic carcinoma diagnosis and biomarker assessment to aid drug development is challenging. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) may represent a potential biomarker to address these unmet needs. We compared prospectively the utility of two platforms for CTC enumeration and characterisation in pancreatic cancer patients in a pilot exploratory study.

PATIENTS AND METHODS:

Blood samples were obtained prospectively from 54 consenting patients and analysed by CellSearch and isolation by size of epithelial tumour cells (ISET). CellSearch exploits immunomagnetic capture of CTCs-expressing epithelial markers, whereas ISET is a marker independent, blood filtration device. Circulating tumour cell expression of epithelial and mesenchymal markers was assessed to explore any discrepancy in CTC number between the two platforms.

RESULTS:

ISET detected CTCs in more patients than CellSearch (93% vs 40%) and in higher numbers (median CTCs/7.5 ml, 9 (range 0-240) vs 0 (range 0-144)). Heterogeneity observed for epithelial cell adhesion molecule, pan-cytokeratin (CK), E-Cadherin, Vimentin and CK 7 expression in CTCs may account for discrepancy in CTC number between platforms.

CONCLUSION:

ISET detects more CTCs than CellSearch and offers flexible CTC characterisation with potential to investigate CTC biology and develop biomarkers for pancreatic cancer patient management.

PMID:
22187035
PMCID:
PMC3273340
DOI:
10.1038/bjc.2011.545
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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