304 - Prognostic value of circulating tumor cells in early breast cancer patients detected by RT-PCR of mamaglobin

Date 28 September 2012
Event ESMO Congress 2012
Session Publication Only
Topics Translational Research
Breast Cancer
Basic Principles in the Management and Treatment (of cancer)
Presenter Amany Helal
Authors A. Helal1, H.M. Elzawahrey1, A.A. Abd Elwahab2, M.N. Abdelhafez1, M.M. Moneer3, A.D. Darwish4
  • 1Medical Oncology, national cancer institute, 11796 - cairo/EG
  • 2Molecular Biology, national cancer institute, 11796 - cairo/EG
  • 3Epidemiology & Biostatistics, national cancer institute, 11796 - cairo/EG
  • 4Medical Oncology Department, national cancer institute, 11796 - cairo/EG



The identification of circulating tumor cells (CTC) could potentially become an important prognostic factor in breast cancer patient. The aim of this prospective study is to detect CTC in the blood of breast cancer patients and to correlate between detection of CTC and other prognostic factors, disease free survival and overall survival.

Material and methods

The study was conducted at medical oncology department NCI, Cairo University during the period from August 2008 to August 2011. Forty two consecutive consenting female patients with non metastatic breast cancer who ended their adjuvant chemotherapy and radiotherapy at least 2 years were recruited. Detection of CTC in the blood of our patients was done by measuring the gene expression for mammaglobin by RT-PCR, and then the relative fold change was calculated relatively to normal samples.


The median CTC fold changes were 9.3, ranging from 0 to 20.8 in the whole studied group while zero for the control group. There was a highly statistically significant difference (p = 0.001) between CTC fold changes for stage IIIA compared to stage II tumor, and a statistical significance (p = 0.070) in favor of higher CTC fold changes in those with Her2-neu receptor positivity. There was no significant correlation between higher CTCs and other factors related to the patients or disease characteristics. There was also no relation between CTC fold changes and overall survival or disease free survival.


In this small study, mammaglobin is considered a sensitive marker for detection of CTC in breast cancer. CTC fold changes are correlated with tumor stage and Her2 status. Further studies including larger number of patients and followed for longer period are recommended to evaluate this protocol more thoroughly.


All authors have declared no conflicts of interest.