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Circulating tumor cell clusters are cloaked with platelets and correlate with poor prognosis in unresectable pancreatic cancer

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Title
Circulating tumor cell clusters are cloaked with platelets and correlate with poor prognosis in unresectable pancreatic cancer
Author(s)
Minji Lim; Park, Suhyun; Jeong, Hyoung-Oh; Park, Sung Hee; Sumit Kumar; Jang, Aelee; Lee, Semin; Kim, Dong Uk; Yoon-Kyoung Cho
Publication Date
2021-11-01
Journal
Cancers, v.13, no.21
Publisher
MDPI
Abstract
© 2021 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are known to be heterogeneous and clustered with tumor-associated cells, such as macrophages, neutrophils, fibroblasts, and platelets. However, their molecular profile and clinical significance remain largely unknown. Thus, we aimed to perform a comprehensive gene expression analysis of single CTCs and CTC clusters in patients with pancreatic cancer and to identify their potential clinical relevance to provide personalized medicine. Epitope-independent, rapid (>3 mL of whole blood/min) isolation of single CTCs and CTC clusters was achieved from a prospective cohort of 16 patients with unresectable pancreatic cancer using a cen-trifugal microfluidic device. Forty-eight mRNA expressions of individual CTCs and CTC clusters were analyzed to identify pancreatic CTC phenotype. CTC clusters had a larger proportion of mes-enchymal expression than single CTCs (p = 0.0004). The presence of CTC clusters positively corre-lated with poor prognosis (progression-free survival, p = 0.0159; overall survival, p = 0.0186). Fur-thermore, we found that most CTCs in these patients (90.7%) were cloaked with platelets and found the presence of a positive correlation between the increase in CTC clusters and rapid disease progression during follow-ups. Efficient CTC cluster isolation and analysis techniques will enhance the understanding of complex tumor metastasis processes and can facilitate personalized disease man-agement.
URI
https://pr.ibs.re.kr/handle/8788114/10638
DOI
10.3390/cancers13215272
ISSN
2072-6694
Appears in Collections:
Center for Soft and Living Matter(첨단연성물질 연구단) > 1. Journal Papers (저널논문)
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