Circulating tumor cells as a predictive biomarker in patients with hormone-sensitive prostate cancer

Oscar B Goodman, James T Symanowski, Aida Loudyi, Louis M Fink, David C Ward, Nicholas J Vogelzang
Clinical Genitourinary Cancer 2011, 9 (1): 31-8

UNLABELLED: Little information exists regarding the utility circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration in hormone sensitive prostate cancer. We enumerated CTC in 33 consecutive patients undergoing androgren deprivation therapy (ADT) at our institution. Multivariate analysis revealed baseline CTC as the only independent predictor of progression to CRPC. These data suggest that baseline CTC may identify those unlikely to benefit from ADT.

INTRODUCTION: Circulating tumor cell (CTC) enumeration by using the Cellsearch platform has established prognostic and predictive value in patients with metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). Limited information exists regarding the clinical utility of CTC enumeration in metastatic hormone-sensitive prostate cancer (mHSPC). The goal of this study was to prospectively determine the relative clinical utility of CTCs in mHSPC.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: We analyzed serial CTC in conjunction with other classic biomarkers in 33 consecutive patients treated at the Nevada Cancer Institute with HSPC initiating androgen deprivation therapy and correlated these patients with prognostic prostate-specific antigen (PSA) endpoints and onset of CRPC.

RESULTS: Initial CTC correlated positively with lactate dehydrogenase and alkaline phosphatase, and were unrelated to PSA and testosterone. In univariate analysis, baseline CTC, alkaline phosphatase, lactate dehydrogenase, testosterone, and follow-up CTC were individual predictors of progression to CRPC. In a multivariate Cox regression, only baseline CTC retained independent predictive value. Threshold analysis revealed the cutpoint that optimized specificity and sensitivity of the test to be 3 cells per 7.5 mL whole blood. Baseline CTC also correlated well with PSA nadir benchmarks.

CONCLUSIONS: Initial CTC values predict the duration and magnitude of response to hormonal therapy. CTC enumeration may identify patients at risk of progression to CRPC before initiation of androgen deprivation therapy.

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