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Circulating tumor cells correlate with poorer survival in pancreatic cancer patients
Date:5/28/2010

CHICAGO, IL. (May 28, 2010)Fox Chase Cancer Center investigators find that pancreatic cancer patients who have circulating tumor cells tend to have worse outcomes than patients without circulating tumor cells. Additionally, the team has uncovered evidence that not all circulating tumor cells are the same, and some may predict worse outcomes than others.

Benjamin P. Negin, M.D., a medical oncology fellow at Fox Chase, will present the study at the 46th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology on Sunday, June 6.

"Eventually, we hope we can use changes in number of circulating tumor cells to make real-time treatment decisions, instead of having to wait weeks for radiological scans," says Negin. "This is one of the first studies looking at the role of circulating tumor cells in pancreatic cancer."

Previous work has demonstrated that prostate, colon, or breast cancer patients who have more circulating tumor cells have poorer survival than patients with fewer circulating tumor cells. To learn whether a similar scenario occurs in pancreatic cancer patients, Negin and colleagues enrolled 48 patients with pancreatic cancer in the current study (additional patients still being added).

The team used an immunomagnetic separation system to isolate circulating tumor cells from patients' blood at three time points. The time points included study entry, seven days after the start of therapy, and at the time of their first radiological evaluation, which was six to ten weeks after initiating therapy.

The team found that 50% of the patients had one or more circulating tumor cell per 7.5 mL peripheral blood at baseline. That proportion decreased to 40% after seven days of therapy and to 32% at the time of the first scan.

In addition, the presence of circulating tumor cells correlated with patient outcomes. Patients with circulating tumor cells at study entry had a median overall survival of 191 days compa
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Contact: Diana Quattrone
Diana.Quattrone@fccc.edu
215-728-7784
Fox Chase Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert

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