Circulating tumor cells are predictive of poor response to chemotherapy in metastatic gastric cancer

Su Jin Lee, Jeeyun Lee, Seung Tae Kim, Se Hoon Park, Joon Oh Park, Young Suk Park, Ho Yeong Lim, Won Ki Kang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Background: The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of number of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) on the treatment outcome for metastatic gastric cancer (GC) following palliative chemotherapy. Methods: CTCs were isolated from 7.5 mL of whole blood from 100 patients with metastatic GC by anti-EpCAM antibody coated magnetic particles using the CTC-Profiler (Veridex). Correlations between CTC counts and clinicopathological variables, progression-free survival and overall survival were examined. Results: Between January 2010 and August 2010, 100 metastatic GC patients were enlisted. Among 100 patients, 5 or more CTCs (CTC-positive) were detected in 27 of 95 patients (28%). Even though the clinical characteristics of the CTC-positive and CTC-negative groups were not significantly different, the treatment response to cytotoxic chemotherapy in the CTC-positive group was significantly poorer (progressive disease: 23.4% vs. 60.0% in CTCnegative vs. CTC-positive group, respectively; p = 0.004). The median progression-free survival of the CTC-positive group was substantially shorter than that of the CTC-negative group (59 days vs. 141 days; p = 0.004). For overall survival, CTC-positive group had significantly shorter survival than CTC-negative group (median OS, 120 days vs. 220 days; p = 0.030). A multivariate Cox proportional hazards regression model showed that CTC positivity was an independent adverse factor for progression-free survival and overall survival. Conclusions: This study suggests CTCs are associated with poor response to chemotherapy in metastatic GC patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e382-e386
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Markers
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Wichtig Publishing.


  • Circulating tumor cell
  • Gastric cancer
  • Predictive
  • Prognostic


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