Tumor Cells May Be Marker of Prostate Cancer Survival

-- Rick Ansorge

Thursday, February 12, 2009

THURSDAY, Feb. 12 (HealthDay News) -- In patients with progressive, metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer receiving first-line chemotherapy, the circulating tumor cell count may be a useful prognostic marker for survival, according to a report published online Feb. 11 in The Lancet Oncology.

Howard I. Scher, M.D., of the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a reanalysis of IMMC38 trial data on 164 patients.

The researchers found that a high risk of death was associated with a high concentration of lactate dehydrogenase, a high circulating tumor cell count, high PSA titre, low albumin and low hemoglobin (hazard ratios, 6.44, 1.58, 1.26, 0.10 and 0.72, respectively) at baseline. At four weeks, eight weeks and 12 weeks after treatment, they found that changes in the circulating tumor cell count -- but not changes in PSA titre -- were strongly associated with the risk of death, and that circulating tumor cell counts and lactate dehydrogenase concentration were the most predictive factors for survival.

"The understanding of survival in patients with castration-resistant prostate cancer will be improved through discovery of additional biomarkers and by efforts to record all biomarkers throughout follow-up," the authors conclude. "A phase III randomized trial (NCT00638690) powered on the basis of survival but including specific questions about the use of circulating tumor cells as biomarkers is beginning to address these questions."

The study received support from the Immunicon Corporation.

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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