Breast cancer (BC) affects 1 in every 8 women in the United States and is currently the most prevalent cancer worldwide. Precise staging at diagnosis and prognosis are essential components for the clinical management of BC patients. In this study, we set out to evaluate the feasibility of the high-definition single cell (HDSCA) liquid biopsy (LBx) platform to stratify late-stage BC, early-stage BC, and normal donors using peripheral blood samples. Utilizing 5 biomarkers, we identified rare circulating events with epithelial, mesenchymal, endothelial and hematological origin. We detected a higher level of CTCs in late-stage patients, compared to the early-stage and normal donors. Additionally, we observed more tumor-associated large extracellular vesicles (LEVs) in the early-stage, compared to late-stage and the normal donor groups. Overall, we were able to detect reproducible patterns in the enumeration of rare cells and LEVs of cancer vs. normal donors and early-stage vs. late-stage BC with high accuracy, allowing for robust stratification. Our findings illustrate the feasibility of the LBx assay to provide robust detection of rare circulating events in peripheral blood draws and to stratify late-stage BC, early-stage BC, and normal donor samples.
© 2022. The Author(s).