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ORLANDO, FL USA ( - Dr. Armin Soave presented some very interesting data regarding the presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients undergoing radical cystectomy (RC) for bladder cancer. The premise of the study is that presence of CTCs is a harbinger of poorer oncologic outcomes and might be an indication for chemotherapy after radical cystectomy (RC).

auaHis group performed a prospective collection of blood samples prior to RC and analyzed the samples for presence of CTCs using the CellSearch platform (Veridex). CTCs were found in 40 of 181 patients (22%). Administration of chemotherapy was predictably associated with stage, grade, lymphovascular invasion, and surgical margin status, but on multivariate analysis, it was also associated with presence of CTCs. When stratified by administration of chemotherapy, presence of CTCs was associated with worse cancer-specific survival (CSS) and progression-free survival (PFS). Patients with CTCs who were not treated with adjuvant chemotherapy had worse PFS and CSS compared to patients with CTCs who received adjuvant chemotherapy.

Interestingly, similar oncologic outcomes were seen for patients who had CTCs and received chemotherapy, compared to patients without CTCs who did not receive CTCs, suggesting that CTCs might be a biomarker that would indicate the need for adjuvant chemotherapy.

Presented by Armin Soave at the American Urological Association (AUA) Annual Meeting - May 16 - 21, 2014 - Orlando, Florida USA

Hamburg, Germany

Written by Phillip Abbosh, MD, PhD, medical writer for


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