Research Papers:

Circulating tumor cells mirror bone metastatic phenotype in prostate cancer

Andreas Josefsson, Karin Larsson, Marianne Månsson, Jens Björkman, Eva Rohlova, Daniel Åhs, Helena Brisby, Jan-Erik Damber and Karin Welén _

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Oncotarget. 2018; 9:29403-29413. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25634

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Andreas Josefsson1, Karin Larsson1, Marianne Månsson1, Jens Björkman3, Eva Rohlova3,4,5,6, Daniel Åhs1, Helena Brisby2, Jan-Erik Damber1 and Karin Welén1

1Sahlgrenska Cancer Center, Department of Urology, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

2Department of Orthopaedics, Institute of Clinical Sciences, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg, Gothenburg, Sweden

3TATAA Biocenter AB, Gothenburg, Sweden

4Department of Anthropology and Human Genetics, Faculty of Science, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic

5Laboratory of Gene Expression, Institute of Biotechnology CAS, BIOCEV, Vestec, Czech Republic

6Centre for Experimental Medicine, Institute for Clinical and Experimental Medicine, Prague, Czech Republic

Correspondence to:

Karin Welén, email: [email protected]

Keywords: liquid biopsies; circulating tumor cells; skeletal metastases of prostate cancer

Received: April 19, 2018    Accepted: May 17, 2018    Published: June 29, 2018


Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are promising biomarkers in prostate cancer (PC) because they derive from primary tumor and metastatic tissues. In this study, we used quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR) to compare the expression profiles of 41 PC-related genes between paired CTC and spinal column metastasis samples from 22 PC patients that underwent surgery for spinal cord compression. We observed good concordance between the gene expression profiles in the CTC and metastasis samples in most of the PC patients. Expression of nine genes (AGR2, AKR1C3, AR, CDH1, FOLH1, HER2, KRT19, MDK, and SPINK1) showed a significant correlation between the CTC and metastasis samples. Hierarchical clustering analysis showed a similar grouping of PC patients based on the expression of these nine genes in both CTC and metastasis samples. Our findings demonstrate that CTCs mirror gene expression patterns in tissue metastasis samples from PC patients. Although low detection frequency of certain genes is a limitation in CTCs, our results indicate the potential for CTC phenotyping as a tool to improve individualized therapy in metastatic prostate cancer.

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