Prognostic value of circulating tumour cells for early recurrence after resection of colorectal liver metastases

Z S Lalmahomed, B Mostert, W Onstenk, J Kraan, N Ayez, J W Gratama, D Grünhagen, C Verhoef, S Sleijfer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Despite good outcomes for many, a substantial group of patients undergoing metastasectomy for isolated liver metastases from colorectal cancer (CRC) experience early recurrence. We have investigated whether circulating tumour cell (CTC) detection can identify patients developing disease recurrence within 1 year after liver metastasectomy.

METHODS: In CRC patients undergoing liver metastasectomy, 30 ml peripheral blood was withdrawn preoperatively. CTCs were detected by the CellSearch system after a density-gradient-based enrichment step.

RESULTS: One hundred and seventy-three samples from 151 individual patients were analysed. In 75 samples (43%), CTCs were detected, 16% had ⩾3 CTCs/7.5 ml of blood. Eighty-two patients (47%) experienced early disease recurrence (<1 year). The 1-year recurrence rate between patients with or without detectable CTCs were similar (47% vs 48%) or with a low or high CTC count (<3 or ⩾3 CTCs/7.5 ml of blood) (50% vs 47%). Also disease-free and overall survival were similar between patients with or without CTCs.

CONCLUSIONS: The presence of CTCs in preoperative peripheral blood samples does not identify patients at risk for early disease recurrence after curative resection of colorectal liver metastases. Other parameters are needed to better identify patients at high risk to relapse after liver metastasectomy for CRC.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)556-561
Number of pages6
JournalBritish Journal of Cancer
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Feb 2015

Research programs

  • EMC MM-03-47-11
  • EMC MM-03-86-01
  • EMC MM-03-86-08


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