Background: Detection of circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood of lung cancer patients may predict survival. Various platforms exist that allow capture of these cells for further analysis; little work however, has been done with the ScreenCell device, an antibody-independent CTC platform. The aim of our study was to evaluate the ScreenCell device for detection of CTCs in lung cancer patients and to establish correlations of these findings with survival.
Materials and methods: Twenty-three patients, nine males, and fourteen females, underwent surgical treatment from February to May 2014 for non-small cell lung cancer. Thirteen patients had adenocarcinoma and ten squamous cell carcinoma, while eight were at an early stage (I-II) and five at a later stage (III-IV). Blood samples were obtained prior to surgery and following filtration through the ScreenCell device, were independently reviewed by 2 consultant pathologists.
Results: The pathologists were able to independently identify CTCs in 78.3% (N=18) and 73.9% (N=17) of the cases examined, with overall 80.6% in early stages compared to 60.0% in late stages. The median survival times of positive vs. negative for CTC patients were 1011 and 711 days respectively, with a survival percentage rate of 77.8% and 60% in positive and negative CTC cohorts respectively.
Conclusion: The results of this study suggest that the presence of CTCs analyzed by ScreenCell did not necessarily lead to a poorer prognosis in patients with lung cancer after curative surgery.