Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Triple positive cancer stem cells (CSCs) subtset of CTCs implicated in Metastasis

Key findings:
  • A subset of CTCs occurring at low frequency are responsible for metastasis
  • the frequency of occurrence in the reported study was 0 .6 to 33% of CTCs
  • This subset is positive for CD44, CD47, MET 
  • experimental method involved isolating CTCs from 350 breast cancer patients using cell surface markers and transplating them in mice with defective immune system
  • As the disease advances, the number of triple-positive cells increases, but the total number of CTCs does not. 
  • Patients with very high numbers of triple-positive cells had particularly high numbers of metastases and a much poorer prognosis than women in whom only few of these metastasis-inducing cells were detected
Conclusion: "On the whole, triple-positive cells seem to have a substantially higher biological relevance for disease progression than previously studied CTCs"

direct link to the nature biotechnology paper

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