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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 81

of 'Adjuvant chemotherapy for resected stage II colon cancer'

Prognostic significance of circulating tumour cells following surgical resection of colorectal cancers: a systematic review.
Peach G, Kim C, Zacharakis E, Purkayastha S, Ziprin P
Br J Cancer. 2010;102(9):1327. Epub 2010 Apr 13.
BACKGROUND: The role of adjuvant chemotherapy after resection of colorectal cancers (CRCs) is well understood for patients with stage-I or stage-III disease. Its efficacy for those with stage-II disease remains much less clear. Many investigators have sought to identify prognostic markers that might clarify which patients have the highest risk of recurrence and would, therefore, be most likely to benefit from chemotherapy. This systematic review examines evidence for the use of peripherally sampled, circulating tumour cells (CTCs) as such a prognostic marker.
METHODS: A comprehensive literature search was used to identify studies reporting on the significance of CTCs in the postoperative blood of CRC patients.
RESULTS: Fourteen studies satisfied the inclusion criteria. Six of the nine studies that took blood samples 24 h or more postoperatively found detection of postoperative CTCs to be an independent predictor of cancer recurrence.
CONCLUSION: The presence of CTCs in peripheral blood at least 24 h after resection of CRCs is an independent prognostic marker of recurrence. Further studies are needed to clarify the optimal time point for blood sampling and determine the benefit of chemotherapy in CTC-positive patients with stage-II disease.
Division of Surgery, Department of Surgery and Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, St Mary's Campus, Imperial College London, Praed Street, London W2 1NY, UK. george_peach@hotmail.com