Navigation Links
Cancer cells in blood can identify risk of recurrence in breast cancer
Date:9/24/2007

Barcelona, Spain: Cancer cells circulating in the blood, or circulating tumour cells (CTCs), are known to be associated with a bad prognosis in women with metastatic breast cancer. Now, for the first time, a group of scientists have shown that they can also detect CTCs before and after chemotherapy treatment and hence may be able to identify those patients likely to have a recurrence of their cancer after such treatment in future.

Dr. Julia Jckstock, from the University of Munich, Munich, Germany, told a press conference at the European Cancer Conference (ECCO 14) today (Monday September 24) that the results could help improve the design of trials of chemotherapy in breast cancer, as well as reducing costs to health services.

The team, led by Dr. Brigitte Rack, also from Munich, set out to look at the role of CTCs in blood at the first diagnosis of breast cancer and during adjuvant chemotherapy and endocrine treatment. They analysed blood samples from 1,767 node-positive and high-risk node-negative breast cancer patients before the start of their treatment, and compared the results to those obtained from 852 of the same patients after completion of chemotherapy.

We found that 10 percemt of patients whose blood was sampled before the start of treatment had more than one CTC, and 5 percent of these patients had more than two CTCs in approximately 20 ml of blood, said Dr. Jckstock. The presence of CTCs did not correlate with other prognostic factors such as tumour size, grading, hormonal or Her-2 status, but the scientists did see a significant correlation with the presence of lymph node metastases.

Of 24 healthy individuals used as controls, none showed more than one CTC, said the scientists. Among the 852 patients whose blood was analysed post-treatment, 11 percent were CTC positive before the start of treatment, while 7 percent had more than one CTC after completion of chemotherapy.

Of those patients who were initially CTC positive, 10 percent remained so and 90 percent had a negative CTC test after chemotherapy. Of those initially CTC negative, 93 percent remained negative, whereas 7 percent had a positive CTC result.

The advantage of screening for CTCs is that, unlike other predictive factors, including genetic signatures, it can be carried out after the completion of primary therapy, and, if needed, on other occasions during the duration of disease. Other predictive methods can only be used on diagnosis, and only once, say the scientists.

Previous work on the detection of CTCs in bone marrow had also been shown to have predictive value, said Dr. J ckstock. It is easier to work with bone marrow, because the volume of CTCs is much higher than in blood in the case of a positive status. However, because bone marrow is not easily accessible it is difficult to use this technique on a large scale. It is very much simpler, and more patient-friendly, to take blood samples for analysis.

We think that the persistence of CTCs after chemotherapy treatment is likely to be predictive of the likelihood of recurrence of cancer in these patients, said Dr. Jckstock, and we will be working to analyse the prognostic value of our findings. If this proves to be the case, it will open the door to a simple way of monitoring the likely outcome of chemotherapy, as well as enabling us to target treatments more precisely. For example, for those patients who have an increased risk of recurrence, we could prolong or alter the chemotherapy regime to give them a better chance of recovery. For those who are likely to respond well to treatment, we could reduce the length of treatment and use less aggressive therapies, thus sparing unpleasant side effects.

We expect to have these results in the next five years, she said, and if they are as expected, we are optimistic that our research can bring about a real improvement in the way chemotherapy is used in breast cancer patients.


'/>"/>

Contact: Mary Rice
mary@mrcommunication.org
Federation of European Cancer Societies
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Fibroids unlikely to Turn Cancerous
2. Virus Level could Predict Cervical Cancer Risk
3. Cancer Doctors Okays Controversial Prostate Therapy
4. Potential New Cancer Gene Identified
5. Vitamin B12 can help in detecting cancers
6. More Accurate "PROSTATE CANCER" Test can save Unnecessary Biopsies
7. Consensus on "Combination Therapy" for Breast Cancer
8. Cancers of Colon & Rectum linked to Cigarette Smoking
9. Life Saving Cancer Drugs – From Chicken! Possible Says Dolly’ Creatos
10. The Cancer Rumour mill working over time
11. Want skin cancer? Please have a cigarette
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:8/7/2020)... ... August 07, 2020 , ... ... Alexandria, Virginia. Led by Dr. Mojgan Mazhari, this well-respected practice offers advanced smile ... & Smile Studio is among an exclusive group of dental practices with a ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... ... August 05, 2020 , ... Atlanta Magazine ... York, to complete the “Top Doctor” survey. The mission of Castle Connolly Medical ... of board-certified physicians and key medical leaders were asked to identify outstanding doctors ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... , ... August 05, 2020 , ... ... the appointments of Kathleen Cruger as Director of Clinical Services and Myron Falchuk, ... company’s growth. , “ChronWell has achieved incredible growth as demand for ...
(Date:8/5/2020)... Wis. (PRWEB) , ... August 04, 2020 , ... ... the care of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in Wisconsin, is delighted ... Brookfield, Wisconsin . With the opening of their newest center, Total Spectrum now ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... 2020 , ... WorkBook6 – a Tempe, Arizona-based partnership development ... provides a simple and efficient way for Americans over the age of 65 ... important expansion for the insurance marketing ecosystem, and a critical service for seniors ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:8/5/2020)... (PRWEB) , ... August 04, 2020 , ... Fifty six ... to respond more quickly and effectively to a healthcare crisis like COVID-19, according to ... is one of the most important issues for older voters this year,” says Mary ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... , ... August 03, 2020 , ... ... an agreement has been reached, to amend and restate IDRI’s license with Immune ... United States and Canada). Under the amendment, the parties have agreed to modify ...
(Date:8/3/2020)... ... ... of sleep? Most of us would answer, “to rest” — but how many of us ... tired from a long day at work, or working all day inside our own home, ... own daily choices of how we spend our time. Why is that? Dr. Deedra ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: