Circulating tumour cells are associated with histopathological growth patterns of colorectal cancer liver metastases

Y. M. Meyer, S. M. Wilting, J. Kraan, P. Olthof, P. Vermeulen, J. Martens, D. J. Grünhagen, S. Sleijfer, C. Verhoef*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Histopathological Growth Patterns (HGPs) have prognostic and predictive value in patients with Colorectal Liver Metastases (CRLM). This study examined whether preoperative measurement of Circulating Tumour Cells (CTCs) is associated with HGP. CTCs were prospectively enumerated in 7.5 ml of blood using the FDA-approved CellSearch system in patients who underwent local treatment of CRLM with curative intent between 2008 and 2021. All CTC samples were collected on the day of local treatment. Patients treated with neoadjuvant chemotherapy for CRLM or with extrahepatic disease at the time of CTC sampling were excluded. HGP was scored retrospectively following the current consensus guidelines. The association between CTCs and HGP was investigated through multivariable logistic regression. Data were available for 177 patients, desmoplastic HGP (dHGP) was observed in 34 patients (19%). There were no statistically significant differences in patient and tumour characteristics between dHGP and non-dHGP at baseline. Patients with dHGP had longer overall - and disease-free survival (logrank p = 0.003 and 0.003, respectively) compared to patients with non-dHGP. CTCs were not detected in 25(74%) of dHGP patients and in 68(48%) of non-dHGP patients (chi-squared p = 0.006). Preoperative absence of CTCs was the only significant predictor for dHGP in multivariable logistic regression (Odds Ratio 2.7, 95%CI 1.1-6.8, p = 0.028), Table 3. Preoperative absence of CTCs is associated with dHGP in chemo naive CRLM patients without extrahepatic disease. Based on our results, CTC count alone is not sufficient to preoperatively identify HGPs, but integration of CTC count in multivariable prediction models may aid the preoperative identification of HGPs of CRLM.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical and Experimental Metastasis
Early online date3 Nov 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 3 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by Pakistan Science Foundation (PSF) Research Project No. PSF/ILP/C-QU/BIOTECH (078) Development of microbial-based feed supplement and evaluation of its efficiency on growth, production, and health of dairy cattle.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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