Survival and response to treatment in advanced prostate cancer can be predicted by the number of circulating tumour cells (CTCs), a study has shown. Researchers assessed CTC number before and after treatment, changes in PSA and baseline lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) in 164 patients receiving first-line chemotherapy. Before treatment, high LDH (HR 6.44), CTC count (1.58) and PSA titre (1.26) were associated with a high risk of death. Post-treatment, assessed at four, eight and 12 weeks, changes in CTC number were strongly associated with risk, but changes in PSA were only weakly associated.

Scher HI, Jia X, de Bono JS et al. Lancet Oncol 2009; doi:10.1016/S1470-2045(08)70340-1.

Originally published in the March 2009 edition of MIMS Oncology & Palliative Care.

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