Clinicopathological and Prognostic Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Patients with Head and Neck Cancer: A Meta-Analysis
International Journal of Medical Physics Clinical Engineering and Radiation Oncology
Purpose: The aim of the study was to evaluate the association between clinicopathological and prognostic significance and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with head and neck cancer. Methods: We searched PubMed, MEDLINE, BioMed, and EMbase databases for studies that assessed the association between clinicopathological and prognostic significance and CTCs in patients with head and neck cancer. Studies obtained from search strategy were screened using pre-specified criteria, and
... teria, and necessary data were retrieved for meta-analysis. Results: Seventeen studies with 816 patients were eligible for combined analysis. Presence of CTCs in peripheral blood was significantly associated with N stage ( OR 0.50, 95%CI [0.30, 0.81], n = 10, P = 0.005). Patients in the high-CTC group were significantly associated with poorer disease-free survival (DFS; HR = 1.73, 95%CI [1.01 -2.96], P = 0.050) and poorer overall survival (OS; HR = 2.53, 95%CI [1.37 -4.69] P = 0.003). Further analyses indicated strong prognostic powers of CTCs in non-RT-PCR group and pre-treatment group. Conclusion: Our meta-analysis indicates that presence of CTCs is associated with higher N stage and poorer prognosis in patients with head and neck cancer. The potential for further clinical application may be needed for further investigation. Abbreviations CTCs Circulating tumor cells; DFS Disease-free survival; OS Overall survival; DMFS distant metastasis-free survival; H&N Cancer Head and neck carcinoma; PB Peripheral blood; HR Hazard ratio; OR Odd ratio; ICC Immunocytochemistry; NOS Newcastle-Ottawa quality assessment scale.