Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Trial shows circulating tumor cells predict how prostate cancer patients do with chemotherapy

The number of tumor cells circulating in the bloodstream of patients with metastatic, hormone-resistant, prostate cancer can predict how they will do with chemotherapy, according to results of an international trial. The findings, if backed by larger studies, could have important implications for designing personalized treatments for this very dangerous type of prostate cancer, the researchers say.

The team of scientists – including first author Jose Moreno, M.D., clinical associate professor of urology at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson – looked at circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in 240 men with metastatic prostate cancer that failed hormone-depletion therapy. They compared levels prior to chemotherapy and after two to five weeks of treatment. They found that those men with more than five tumor cells per blood sample had a worse prognosis than those who had fewer cells. One half of the patients with more than five CTCs lived at least 10 months, whereas half of the men with fewer tumor cells lived substantially longer – 21 months.

Dr. Moreno presents the trial’s findings June 4, 2007 at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

The results of the 65-site trial also showed that those patients who underwent chemotherapy and whose CTC number went down fared better and had a more favorable prognosis. That is, the level of response to chemotherapy was reflected in the CTC level, notes Dr. Moreno. The numbers held up even after up to 20 weeks of treatment. “If chemotherapy doesn’t reduce the CTC level, it’s information that enables the physician to change the drug regimen or perhaps stop treatment,” he says.

Dr. Moreno notes that the prostate specific antigen has been a powerful biomarker for cancer presence and a useful way to gauge treatment effectiveness for years, though it has some flaws. He thinks that the group’s findings show that CTCs can be a stronger marker.

“The other exciting aspect is in looking at men with earlier stage prostate cancer,” he says. “One in four men may have circulating tumor cells at an early stage of prostate cancer. If we can identify those patients, perhaps we can observe and not treat with radical surgery because their cancer is more dormant.”

Huntington Valley, Pa.-based Immunicon Corporation’s technology enabled researchers to visualize circulating tumor cells by using immunomagnetic beams that bind to the cell surface. It’s been Food and Drug Administration-approved for clinical use in breast cancer.

Immunicon currently is working with several pharmaceutical companies in identifying targets on circulating tumor cells that are susceptible to various chemotherapy drugs, he explains. “Then doctors can select specific chemotherapy agents for specific patients,” Dr. Moreno says. “The first immediate application is personalized medicine in advanced metastatic prostate cancer.”

In addition, certain tests can be performed on CTCs, he notes. One future goal is to better characterize the tumor cells virulence.

Yet, one limitation is that “we didn’t find as many circulating cells as we thought we would.” In the study, circulating tumor cells weren’t found in 38 percent of the men. “That might mean a better prognosis, but in fact their prognosis still isn’t very good,” he points out. “There are some limitations in our ability to detect them.”

Steve Benowitz | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Advanced analysis of brain structure shape may track progression to Alzheimer's disease
26.10.2016 | Massachusetts General Hospital

nachricht Indian roadside refuse fires produce toxic rainbow
26.10.2016 | Duke University

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Etching Microstructures with Lasers

Ultrafast lasers have introduced new possibilities in engraving ultrafine structures, and scientists are now also investigating how to use them to etch microstructures into thin glass. There are possible applications in analytics (lab on a chip) and especially in electronics and the consumer sector, where great interest has been shown.

This new method was born of a surprising phenomenon: irradiating glass in a particular way with an ultrafast laser has the effect of making the glass up to a...

Im Focus: Light-driven atomic rotations excite magnetic waves

Terahertz excitation of selected crystal vibrations leads to an effective magnetic field that drives coherent spin motion

Controlling functional properties by light is one of the grand goals in modern condensed matter physics and materials science. A new study now demonstrates how...

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

How nanoscience will improve our health and lives in the coming years

27.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

OU-led team discovers rare, newborn tri-star system using ALMA

27.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

'Neighbor maps' reveal the genome's 3-D shape

27.10.2016 | Life Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>