Circulating tumor cells in metastatic colorectal cancer: Do we need an alternative cutoff?

P. Gazzaniga, C. Raimondi, A. Gradilone, G. Biondi Zoccai, C. Nicolazzo, O. Gandini, F. Longo, S. Tomao, G. Lo Russo, P. Seminara, B. Vincenzi, I. Chimenti, M. Cristofanilli, L. Frati, E. Cortesi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To assess the prognostic and predictive value of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in metastatic colorectal cancer (mCRC) irrespective of detection level. Materials and methods: We evaluated the prognostic and predictive significance of CTC count at baseline and under treatment in 119 mCRC subjects and compared the standard cutoff (≥3 CTCs/7.5 mL to ≥1 CTCs/7.5 mL). Results: An overall comparison was made between patients with 0, 1-2 and ≥3 CTC (median PFS 8, 4 and 5 months, respectively). Two poor prognostic groups were found, including patients with ≥1 CTCs before and during treatment and patients with 0 CTC at baseline who converted to ≥1 CTCs (p = 0.014). Conclusions: The presence of at least 1 CTC at baseline count is predictive for poor prognosis in mCRC patients. Patients with 1-2 CTC should be switched from the favorable prognostic group - conventionally defined by the presence of

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1411-1416
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cancer Research and Clinical Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2013


  • CellSearch
  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Cutoff

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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