HealthDay News — For patients with locally-advanced non-small-cell lung cancer (LA-NSCLC), circulating tumor cell (CTC) elevations often precede radiologic evidence of disease recurrence, according to a study presented at the 2017 Multidisciplinary Thoracic Cancers Symposium, held from March 16 to 18 in San Francisco.
Chimbu Chinniah, from the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a prospective trial involving patients with LA-NSCLC definitively treated with chemoradiation (RT) to examine CTCs as a biomarker. CTCs were identified from peripheral blood samples using an adenoviral probe. Samples from 48 patients were obtained before, during, and after concurrent RT.
At a median follow-up of 10.9 months, the researchers found that 46% of patients recurred at a median time of 7.6 months after RT. Post-RT samples were obtained for 20 of these patients, of which 15 had an increase in CTC counts after RT. CTC counts were negative on initial post-RT draw in 10 of these 15 patients, and increased before radiological detection of recurrence; the median lead time between CTC rise and radiographic evidence of recurrence was 4.7 months. One patient with early recurrence at 4.7 months had persistently elevated CTC levels during and after treatment; increases in CTC were seen in four patients after radiographic detection of recurrence.
“The additional lead time afforded by an earlier diagnosis may enable doctors to better tailor alternative and salvage treatments to improve their patients’ outcomes and quality of life,” Chinniah said in a statement.
Several authors disclosed financial ties to Liquid Biotech USA.