Lung cancer: prediction and prognosis

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Menno Tammingaof the Department of Pulmonary Diseases, University Medical Center Groningen, the Netherlands tells us more about his most recent publication on the Analysis of Released Circulating Tumor Cells During Surgery for Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.

What is your publication about?

We were looking for a new biomarker to predict tumor response in lung cancer. We have measured circulating tumor cells (CTCs) during surgery and identified more of them in the pulmonary vein compared to the radial artery. This suggests a central clearance of CTC, perhaps in the heart.

Why do you do research in this area? What do you find interesting/important about it?

We were interested in the pathophysiology of released CTCs in early lung cancer because CTCs are strong prognostic markers for lung cancer. We discovered that indeed these cells are markers for lung cancer prognosis, but are not markers for prediction, since they are mainly released close to the primary tumor, not in the peripheral circulation. The reason was a central clearance and not a peripheral clearance in the microcirculation.

What did you expect as a result when you started the research project?

We expected that, next to the strong prognostic role, CTCs would also be important predictive factors that could be used in clinical practice. Nowadays other biomarkers are evolving such as circulating tumor DNA.

DOI of this publication