Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) provide prognostic information in patients with metastatic tumors. Recent studies have shown that CTCs are released in circulation in an early phase of cancer disease so that their presence is under investigation in the adjuvant setting. Few studies investigated the prognostic significance of CTCs enumeration in patients with metastatic and advanced bladder cancer. The current study has analyzed the presence of CTC in patients with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Patients and methods: Forty-four NMIBC patients were enrolled and included in a 24-month follow-up program. Blood drawings were carried out in all patients at the first diagnosis. CellSearch system (Veridex; LLC, Raritan, NJ) was used for CTCs enumeration. Results: CTC were detectable in 8/44 patients (18%). Presence of CTC was found significantly associated to shorter time to first recurrence (6.5 versus 21.7 months, P <0.001). Median time to progression was not reached, due to the short follow-up period. CTC presence was found associated to concomitant carcinoma in situ and higher T category. Conclusion: The detection of CTC in this setting of disease may allow to distinguish patients with high risk of recurrence from those with high risk of progression, as well as to early identify patients candidate for adjuvant treatment.
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