Detection of circulating tumor cells in patients with laryngeal cancer using ScreenCell: Comparative pre- and post-operative analysis and association with prognosis
MARIA IDA RIZZO1,2, MASSIMO RALLI3, CHIARA NICOLAZZO4, ANGELA GRADILONE4, RAFFAELLA CARLETTI5, CIRA DI GIOIA5, MARCO DE VINCENTIIS6 and ANTONIO GRECO3
1Department of Surgical Science, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00186;
2Craniofacial Center, Plastic and Maxillofacial Surgery Unit, Bambino Gesù Children Hospital, Rome 00165;
Departments of 3Sense Organs, 4Molecular Medicine-Circulating Tumor Cells Unit, 5Radiological, Oncological and Pathological Sciences and 6Oral and Maxillofacial Sciences, Sapienza University of Rome, Rome 00186, Italy
Received August 10, 2019; Accepted February 20, 2020
The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the blood of patients with metastatic breast, colorectal and prostate cancer have been widely investigated; however, few studies have examined CTCs in patients with laryngeal cancer. The present pilot study aimed to detect pre‑ and postoperative CTCs in the blood of patients with laryngeal cancer and evaluate the association with prognosis. Eight patients with laryngeal squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) at stage III were included in the present study and underwent total or subtotal laryngectomy and radical bilateral neck lymph node dissection. Blood samples were collected from all patients before and after surgery at different time‑points. The following processing steps were followed; preoperative blood sampling, surgery, postoperative blood sampling at 3, 6 and 12 month follow‑ups, and prognostic association analysis. CTCs were retained on ScreenCell filters for cytological characterization. The presence of CTCs was associated with a less favorable prognosis, whereas a decrease of CTCs in the postoperative sampling was observed in patients who exhibited an improved therapeutic response. The results of the present pilot study revealed a possible association between the presence of CTCs and a less favorable prognosis in patients with LSCC; therefore, these preliminary findings may encourage further research into the incorporation of a liquid biopsy in the management of LSCC, as this may help identify patients with occult metastatic disease earlier and in a non‑invasive manner. In addition, this approach may represent novel independent prognostic factor for use in the clinical evaluation of patients with LSCC.