Retaining the long-survive capacity of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) followed by xeno-transplantation: Not only from metastatic cancer of the breast but also of prostate cancer patients

Elisabetta Rossi, Massimo Rugge, Antonella Facchinetti, Marco Pizzi, Giorgia Nardo, Vito Barbieri, Mariangela Manicone, Stefania De Faveri, Maria Chiara Scaini, Umberto Basso, Alberto Amadori, Rita Zamarchi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigated whether Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) isolated from epithelial tumors could survive and grow in xenotransplants. To this purpose, EpCAM-positive CTCs were enriched by CellSearch platform the only FDA-cleared automated platform that quantifies tumor burden in peripheral blood and provides clinical evidence of predictive and prognostic value. The CTCs were isolated from metastatic prostate (n=6) and breast (n=2) cancer patients. The xenograft assay was developed in 8-week-old NOD/SCID mice that were subcutaneously injected with increasing amounts of CTCs (ranging from 50 to 3000). Human CTCs were found in 8 out of 8 murine peripheral blood (muPB) and in 6 out of 8 murine bone marrow (muBM) samples, after a median follow-up of 10.3 months. Six out of 8 spleens were positive for human cytokeratin. Our assay showed higher successful rate than those previously reported in breast cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. The role of EpCAM during carcinogenesis is controversial. The identification of human CTCs in muPB, muBM and spleen demonstrates that the EpCAM-positive fraction of CTCs retains the migratory capacity. This is the first experimental evidence that as few as 50 EpCAM-positive prostate cancer CTCs putatively contain metastasisinitiating- cells (MIC).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
Number of pages8
JournalOncoscience
Volume1
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Keywords

  • Breast cancer
  • Circulating Tumor Cells
  • EpCAM
  • Prostate cancer
  • Xenograft assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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