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eISSN: 1643-3750

Role of Circulating Tumor Cell (CTC) Monitoring in Evaluating Prognosis of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Patients in China

Yanwu Zhang, Yidong Lv, Yaodong Niu, Hongge Su, Aiqiang Feng

Department of Breast Surgery, The Third Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Zhengzhou, Henan, China (mainland)

Med Sci Monit 2017; 23:3071-3079

DOI: 10.12659/MSM.902637

Available online:

Published: 2017-06-23

BACKGROUND: Breast cancer (BC) is the most common malignant tumor in females. This study investigated the role and utility of CTC monitoring in evaluating the prognosis of triple-negative breast cancer patients.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: We enrolled 286 female triple-negative breast cancer patients who were diagnosed at and received radical resection surgery in our hospital. Peripheral venous blood samples were collected preoperatively and at 3 and 7 days postoperative, and the Cell Search system was used to detect CTC in peripheral blood. We analyzed the relationship between preoperative CTC level and clinical pathological characteristics of patients. Kaplan-Meier method was used to establish progression-free survival curves and overall survival curves, we used the log-rank test to compare the survival rate, and we explored the effects of preoperative and postoperative CTC levels on patient survival.
RESULTS: Compared with preoperative levels, the average CTC content in peripheral blood of breast cancer patients was significantly increased at 3 days after surgery, and then decreased to the preoperative baseline level by 7 days after surgery. The 3-year overall survival rate and progression-free survival rate in patients with CTC >5/7.5 mL peripheral blood were significantly lower than in patients with CTC <5/7.5 mL peripheral blood detected preoperatively and at 3 and 7 days postoperatively.
CONCLUSIONS: Dynamic monitoring of preoperative and postoperative CTC levels can accurately predict recurrence and progression of disease, and is important in postoperative monitoring and prognosis evaluation.

Keywords: Breast, Neoplastic Cells, Circulating, Triple Negative Breast Neoplasms