Indexed on: 21 Sep '17Published on: 21 Sep '17Published in: Journal of Cancer
Measurement of circulating tumor cells (CTC) offers promise as a clinical biomarker to monitor disease status, therapeutic response, and progression in cancer patients. However, its clinical value in lung cancer patients has not been fully explored. We systematically evaluate the association of CTCs with clinical variables and tumor markers in a cohort of lung cancer patients. Using the CELLSEARCH System, CTCs were detected in both small cell lung cancer (SCLC) and non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients prior to therapy. Univariate analysis revealed that detection of CTC was related to histology, stage, tumor size, invasiveness, and lymphatic metastasis. CTCs were associated with distant metastases in NSCLC, but not in SCLC. Using multivariate analysis, we found that CTCs were independently correlated with disease stage, SCLC, and elevated serum neuron-specific enolase (NSE). These data suggest that CTCs are more likely to be detected in patients with stage IV disease and with SCLC, and that elevated serum NSE predicts the presence of CTCs.