Prevalence of circulating tumor cells in localized prostate cancer

Curr Urol. 2013 Nov;7(2):65-9. doi: 10.1159/000356251. Epub 2013 Oct 30.


Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTC) predict overall survival in patients with metastatic prostate cancer. The objective of this study is to measure CTC before radical prostatectomy in intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer patients.

Materials and methods: The study accrued 12 patients and 10 provided adequate peripheral blood sample. Blood was drawn preoperatively and assayed for CTC using the CellSearch system. Patients were categorized as CTC positive (≥ 1 CTC) or CTC negative (no CTC).

Results: Median age was 64.5 years (range 49-77 years), median prostate specific antigen was 7.4 ng/ml (range 5.7-25.7 ng/ml). Seven patients had intermediate-risk and 3 patients had high-risk prostate cancer. One patient was found to be CTC positive.

Conclusions: Our pilot study shows that CTC are rare in patients with clinically localized disease despite intermediate- to high-risk features. CTC may not be the optimal marker to predict prognosis or detect residual disease after radical prostatectomy.

Keywords: Circulating tumor cells; Prostatic cancer; Radical prostatectomy.