OncoTargets and therapy

Circulating tumor cells in the central and peripheral venous compartment - assessing hematogenous dissemination after transarterial chemoembolization of hepatocellular carcinoma.

PMID 25071374


The aims of this study were to assess the effect of transarterial chemoembolization (TACE) on circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood and right atrium of patients with HCC and to evaluate whether perioperative shedding of CTCs affects time to progression of HCC. Before and after TACE, peripheral and right atrial blood samples (7.5 mL) were collected from 42 patients with HCC. CTCs were enriched using EpCAM antibody-conjugated magnetic beads. The number of CTCs was 0-30 and 0-54 in peripheral blood before and after TACE, respectively (P=0.166), and 0-65 and 0-98 in the right atrium before and after TACE, respectively (P=0.102). The number of CTCs was significantly different between the two samples both before (P=0.007) and after (P=0.021) TACE. There was no difference in time to progression between patients with and without an increase in the number of CTCs after TACE in either sample (P>0.05 for both). There were more CTCs in right atrial blood than in peripheral blood. The numbers of CTCs in both samples remained unchanged after TACE. Shedding of tumor cells did not affect time to progression of disease in patients with HCC.