Comparison of assay methods for detection of circulating tumor cells in metastatic breast cancer: AdnaGen AdnaTest BreastCancer Select/Detect™ versus Veridex CellSearch™ system
Clinical Laboratory Techniques
Neoplastic Cells, Circulating
The detection of CTCs prior to and during therapy is an independent and strong prognostic marker, and it is predictive of poor treatment outcome. A major challenge is that different technologies are available for isolation and characterization of CTCs in peripheral blood (PB). We compare the CellSearch system and AdnaTest BreastCancer Select/Detect, to evaluate the extent that these assays differ in their ability to detect CTCs in the PB of MBC patients. CTCs in 7.5 ml of PB were isolated and enumerated using the CellSearch, before new treatment. Two cutoff values of ≥2 and ≥5 CTCs/7.5 ml were used. AdnaTest requires 5 ml of PB to detect gene transcripts of tumor markers (GA733-2, MUC-1, and HER2) by RT-PCR. AdnaTest was scored positive if ≥1 of the transcript PCR products for the 3 markers were detected at a concentration ≥0.15 ng/μl. A total of 55 MBC patients were enrolled. 26 (47%) patients were positive for CTCs by the CellSearch (≥2 cutoff), while 20 (36%) were positive (≥5 cutoff). AdnaTest was positive in 29 (53%) with the individual markers being positive in 18% (GA733-2), 44% (MUC-1), and 35% (HER2). Overall positive agreement was 73% for CTC≥2 and 69% for CTC≥5. These preliminary data suggest that the AdnaTest has equivalent sensitivity to that of the CellSearch system in detecting 2 or more CTCs. While there is concordance between these 2 methods, the AdnaTest complements the CellSearch system by improving the overall CTC detection rate and permitting the assessment of genomic markers in CTCs.