Seeberg LT, Brunborg C, Waage A et al.
Department of Gastrointestinal Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, Oslo, Norway. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annals of surgical oncology. Mar 2017.
The aim of this study was to analyse the survival impact of primary tumor nodal status (N0/N+) in patients with resectable colorectal liver metastases (CLM), and to determine the value of circulating and disseminated tumor cells (CTCs/DTCs) in this setting.In this prospective study of patients undergoing resection of CLM from 2008 to 2011, peripheral blood was analyzed for CTCs using the CellSearch System(®), and bone marrow was sampled for DTC analyses just prior to hepatic resection. The presence of one or more tumor cells was scored as CTC/DTC-positive. Following resection of the primary tumor, the lymph nodes (LNs) were examined by routine histopathological examination.A total of 140 patients were included in this study; 38 patients (27.1%) were negative at the primary colorectal LN examination (N0). CTCs were detected in 12.1% of all patients; 5.3% of patients in the N0 group and 14.7% of patients in the LN-positive (N+) group (p = 0.156), with the LN-positive group (N+) consisting of both N1 and N2 patients. There was a significant difference in recurrence-free survival (RFS) when analysing the N0 group versus the N+ group (p = 0.007) and CTC-positive versus CTC-negative patients (p = 0.029). In multivariate analysis, CTC positivity was also significantly associated with impaired overall survival (OS) [p = 0.05], whereas DTC positivity was not associated with survival.In this cohort of resectable CLM patients, 27% had primary N0 colorectal cancer. Assessment of CTC in addition to nodal status may contribute to improved classification of patients into high- and low-risk groups, which has the potential to guide and improve treatment strategies.