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Prognostic Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Small-Cell Lung Cancer Patients: a Meta-analysis

  • Zhang, Jiao (Department of Interventional Therapy, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital) ;
  • Wang, Hai-Tao (Department of Interventional Therapy, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital) ;
  • Li, Bao-Guo (Department of Interventional Therapy, Key Laboratory of Cancer Prevention and Therapy, National Clinical Research Center for Cancer, Tianjin Medical University Cancer Institute and Hospital)
  • Published : 2014.10.23

Abstract

Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are believed to be particularly important and a reliable marker of malignancy. However, the prognostic significance of CTCs detected in patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is still unclear. We therefore aimed to assess the prognostic relevance of CTCs using a meta-analysis. We searched PubMed for relevant studies and statistical analyses were conducted to calculate the hazard ratio (HR) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) using fixed or random-effect models according to the heterogeneity of included studies. A total of 7 papers covering 440 SCLC patients were combined in the final analysis. The meta-analysis revealed that CTCs were significantly associated with shorter overall survival (HR=1.9; 95%CI: 1.19-3.04; Z=2.67; P<0.0001) and progression-free survival (HR=2.6; 95%CI: 1.9-3.54; Z=6.04; P<0.0001). The results thus suggest that the presence of CTCs indicates a poor prognosis in patients with SCLC. Further well-designed prospective studies are required to explore the clinical applications of CTCs in SCLC.

Keywords

Circulating tumor cells;small-cell lung cancer;overall survival;progress-free survival-meta-analysis

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