The early diagnosis of non-small cell lung cancer is of great significance to the prognosis of patients. However, traditional histopathology and imaging screening have certain limitations. Therefore, new diagnostical methods are urgently needed for the current clinical diagnosis. In this study we evaluated the sensitivity and specificity of CanPatrolTM technology for the detection of circulating tumor cells in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC).
CTCs in the peripheral blood of 98 patients with NSCLC and 38 patients with benign pulmonary diseases were collected by the latest typing of CanPatrolTM detection technology. A 3-year follow-up was performed to observe their recurrence and metastasis. Kruskal-Wallis test was used to compare multiple groups of data, Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare data between the two groups, and ROC curve analysis was used to obtain the critical value. The COX risk regression and Kaplan-Meier survival analysis were performed in the 63 NSCLC patients who were effectively followed up.
The epithelial, epithelial-mesenchymal, and total CTCs were significantly higher in NSCLC patients than that in patients with benign lung disease (P < 0.001). The mesenchymal CTCs of NSCLC patients was slightly higher than that of benign lung diseases (P = 0.013). The AUC of the ROC curve of the total CTCs was 0.837 (95% CI: 0.76-0.914), and the cut-off value corresponding to the most approximate index was 0.5 CTCs/5 ml, at which point the sensitivity was 81.6% and the specificity was 86.8%. COX regression analysis revealed that the clinical stage was correlated with patient survival (P = 0.006), while gender, age, and smoking were not (P > 0.05). After excluding the confounders of staging, surgery, and chemotherapy, Kaplan-Meier survival analysis showed that patients in stage IIIA with CTCs ≥ 0.5 had significantly lower DFS than those with CTCs < 0.5 (P = 0.022).
CTC positive can well predict the recurrence of NSCLC patients. CanPatrolTM technology has good sensitivity and specificity in detecting CTCs in peripheral blood of NSCLC patients and has a certain value for clinical prognosis evaluation.