In vivo isolation of circulating tumor cells in patients with different stages of prostate cancer

Oncol Lett. 2021 May;21(5):357. doi: 10.3892/ol.2021.12618. Epub 2021 Mar 4.


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) provide accurate information on the clinical stage of cancer progression. The present study examined the clinical validity and feasibility of a new medical device for the in vivo isolation of CTCs from the blood of patients with prostate cancer (PCa). The GILUPI CellCollector® (DC01) was applied in 188 cases. The CTC/prostate-specific antigen (PSA) profile of each patient was checked for therapeutic monitoring of patients with PCa. The CellCollector, which is a unique in vivo approach for the isolation of CTCs, was compared with the CellSearch® system, which is the current standard. Overall survival (OS) and diagnostic performance were evaluated. By in vivo isolation, 78.9% (56/71) of patients with metastatic disease (PCa-m) and 46.3% (24/53) of patients with localized disease (PCa-l) had ≥1 captured CTC. Kaplan-Meier analysis revealed that patients with PCa-m that had ≥5 CTCs had a significantly different OS compared with those with <5 CTCs (27.5 months vs. 37 months; HR 2.6; 95% CI 0.78-8.3). Patients with a higher number of CTCs at all time-points had the shortest median OS of 25 months (HR 1.9; 95% CI 0.4-11.6). The effectiveness of CTC isolation technologies demonstrated that in 65.7% of the applications, patients with cancer were positive for CTCs using the CellCollector. By contrast, the CellSearch system detected CTCs in 44.4% of applications. In vivo isolation of CTCs demonstrated the clinical viability of the CellCollector, related to the current standard for the isolation of CTCs from patients with PCa. The advantage of the in vivo device is that it overcomes the blood volume limitations of other CTC assays. Furthermore, the present study revealed that the CellCollector was well tolerated, and no adverse events (AEs) or serious AEs were reported.

Keywords: CellCollector®; circulating tumor cells; in vivo isolation; liquid biopsy; prostate cancer.

Grants and funding

Financial funding for the implementation of this study was received from the GILUPI GmbH. The sponsor played no role in the study.