The presence of peripheral circulating tumor cells indicates the possible existence of a tumor in vivo; however, low numbers of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) can be detected in peripheral blood of healthy individuals as well as patients with benign tumors. It is not known whether peripheral CTC counts differ between patients with benign colorectal disease and those with colorectal cancer.
Comparative analysis of preoperative peripheral circulating tumor cells counts was completed in patients with benign colorectal disease (colorectal polyps) and non-metastatic cancer of the colon and rectum.
The results of this analysis showed that patients with colorectal cancer had higher CTC counts than patients with colorectal polyps (3.47 ± 0.32/3.2 ml vs 1.49 ± 0.2/3.2 ml, P < 0.001). Colorectal cancer patients with tumors of the sigmoid colon displayed the highest CTC counts (4.87 ± 0.95/3.2 ml), followed by those with tumors of the rectum (3.73 ± 0.54/3.2 ml), ascending colon (3.5 ± 0.63/3.2 ml), transverse colon (2.4 ± 0.68/3.2 ml), and descending colon (2.08 ± 0.46/3.2 ml). Colorectal polyp patients with polyps in the rectum showed the highest CTC counts (2.2 ± 0.77/3.2 ml), followed by those with polyps in the ascending colon (1.82 ± 0.54/3.2 ml), sigmoid colon (1.38 ± 0.25/3.2 ml), transverse colon (0.75 ± 0.25/3.2 ml), and descending colon (0.33 ± 0.21/3.2 ml). The differences in CTC counts suggest that anatomical location of colorectal tumors may affect blood vessel metastasis. Meanwhile, patients with moderately differentiated and poorly differentiated tumors displayed higher peripheral blood CTC counts compared to those with well-differentiated tumors (P < 0.001). This result suggests that the type of tissue differentiation of colorectal tumors may act as another factor that affects blood vessel metastasis.
Circulating tumor cells can be detected in the peripheral blood of colorectal cancer patients as well as patients with colorectal polyps. The differences in CTC counts suggest that anatomical location and the type of tissue differentiation of colorectal tumors may affect blood vessel metastasis.
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- Clinical significance of peripheral circulating tumor cell counts in colorectal polyps and non-metastatic colorectal cancer
- BioMed Central
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