Post-debulking circulating tumor cell as a poor prognostic marker in advanced stage ovarian cancer: A prospective observational study

Miseon Kim, Dong Hoon Suh, Jin Young Choi, Jiyoon Bu, Yoon Tae Kang, Kidong Kim, Jae Hong No, Yong Beom Kim, Young Ho Cho

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Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) have received enormous attention as a novel biomarker in various malignant diseases. We investigated the clinical association between the presence of perioperative CTCs and survival outcomes in women with ovarian cancer. In a total of 30 women who were scheduled to undergo a surgical treatment for ovarian cancer, peripheral blood samples were obtained before and after surgery. CTCs were isolated and counted using the optimized tapered-slit filter (TSF) platform. The association between the presence of perioperative CTCs and tumor features was evaluated. The impact of the presence of perioperative CTCs on progression-free survival (PFS) and overall survival (OS) rates were analyzed using a Kaplan-Meier method. The median age was 58 (range, 24-77) years, and the median follow-up period was 31.5 (range, 1-41) months. Overall, the CTC detection rate was not significantly different before and after surgery (76.7% vs 57.1%, P = .673). The presence of postoperative CTCs was not significantly associated with 3-year PFS (29.1% vs 58.3%, P = .130) and OS (84.4% vs 80.0%, P = .559) rates in the whole study population. In advanced stage, PFS rate in patients with postoperative CTCs had lower PFS rates than those without postoperative CTCs, although there was no statistical significance (18.8% vs 57.1%, P = .077). Postoperative CTC was more frequently detected in women who had lymph node involvement than those who did not (7/7 [100%] vs 3/10 [30.0%], P = .010). The presence of postoperative CTCs as detected using the TSF platform seems to be associated with poorer PFS rates in women with ovarian cancer of advanced stage. Further study with a larger population is warranted to validate our study findings.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e15354
Issue number20
StatePublished - 1 May 2019


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