A 71-year-old patient with a pulmonary lesion was diagnosed with a low-grade neuroendocrine tumor following examination of a fine needle aspiration biopsy. Analysis of a peripheral blood sample with the CellSearch™ system revealed the presence of putative circulating tumor cells (CTC) that were positive for EpCAM and cytokeratin (CK) expression. Since EpCAM is not usually expressed in neuroendocrine tumors, we performed a biopsy of liver metastases. Morphological and immunophenotypical characterization revealed that the patient had an EpCAM and CK positive small-cell lung cancer (SCLC). By using the CellSearch™ apparatus, EpCAM/CK positive CTC were detected in peripheral blood samples from 3 out of 4 additional SCLC patients. This study is the first to demonstrate that CTC can be identified in SCLC patients by using the CellSearch™ system.
- Circulating tumor cells
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine
- Cancer Research