Liquid Biopsy for Small Cell Lung Cancer either De Novo or Transformed: Systematic Review of Different Applications and Meta-Analysis

Elio Gregory Pizzutilo, Martino Pedrani, Alessio Amatu, Lorenzo Ruggieri, Calogero Lauricella, Silvio Marco Veronese, Diego Signorelli, Giulio Cerea, Laura Giannetta, Salvatore Siena, Andrea Sartore-Bianchi
2021 Cancers  
The potential added value of liquid biopsy (LB) is not well determined in the case of small cell lung cancer (SCLC), an aggressive tumor that can occur either de novo or from the histologic transformation of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Methods: A systematic review of studies adopting LB in patients with SCLC have been performed to assess the clinical utility of circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) or circulating tumor cells (CTCs). Results: After a screening of 728 records, 62 studies (32
more » ... ating CTCs, 27 ctDNA, and 3 both) met predetermined eligibility criteria. Only four studies evaluated LB in the diagnostic setting for SCLC, while its prognostic significance was evaluated in 38 studies and prominently supported by both ctDNA and CTCs. A meta-analysis of 11 studies as for CTCs enumeration showed an HR for overall survival of 2.63 (1.71–4.05), with a potential publication bias. The feasibility of tumor genomic profiling and the predictive role of LB in terms of response/resistance to chemotherapy was assessed in 11 and 24 studies, respectively, with greater consistency for those regarding ctDNA. Intriguingly, several case reports suggest that LB can indirectly capture the transition to SCLC in NSCLC treated with EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors. Conclusions: While dedicated trials are needed, LB holds potential clinical roles in both de novo and transformed SCLC. CtDNA analysis appears the most valuable and practicable tool for both disease monitoring and genomic profiling.
doi:10.3390/cancers13092265 pmid:34066817 fatcat:v6zjwxaayne7xg4utzyyfqunlq