Clinical Research Papers:

This article has been corrected. Correction in: Oncotarget. 2017; 8(16):27673.

Molecular profiling of peripheral blood is associated with circulating tumor cells content and poor survival in metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer

Mercedes Marín-Aguilera, Òscar Reig, Juan José Lozano, Natalia Jiménez, Susana García-Recio, Nadina Erill, Lydia Gaba, Andrea Tagliapietra, Vanesa Ortega, Gemma Carrera, Anna Colomer, Pedro Gascón and Begoña Mellado _

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Oncotarget. 2015; 6:10604-10616. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.3550

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Mercedes Marín-Aguilera1, Òscar Reig1,2, Juan José Lozano3, Natalia Jiménez1, Susana García-Recio1,4, Nadina Erill5, Lydia Gaba2, Andrea Tagliapietra2, Vanesa Ortega2, Gemma Carrera6, Anna Colomer5, Pedro Gascón4 and Begoña Mellado1,2

1 Translational Genomics Group and Targeted Therapeutics in Solid Tumors Group, Institut d’Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer (IDIBAPS), Barcelona, Spain

2 Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain

3 Bioinformatics Platform Department, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red en el Área temática de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas (CIBEREHD), Hospital Clínic, Barcelona, Spain

4 Laboratory of Translational Oncology, Fundació Clínic per a la Recerca Biomèdica, Barcelona, Spain

5 Althia, Barcelona, Spain

6 Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Plató, Barcelona, Spain

Correspondence to:

Begoña Mellado, email:

Keywords: circulating tumor cells, peripheral blood, microarrays, cell search system

Received: January 22, 2015 Accepted: February 14, 2015 Published: March 12, 2015


The enumeration of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in peripheral blood correlates with clinical outcome in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). We analyzed the molecular profiling of peripheral blood from 43 metastatic CRPC patients with known CTC content in order to identify genes that may be related to prostate cancer progression. Global gene expression analysis identified the differential expression of 282 genes between samples with ≥5 CTCs vs <5 CTCs, 58.6% of which were previously described as over-expressed in prostate cancer (18.9% in primary tumors and 56.1% in metastasis). Those genes were involved in survival functions such as metabolism, signal transduction, gene expression, cell growth, death, and movement. The expression of selected genes was evaluated by quantitative RT-PCR. This analysis revealed a two-gene model (SELENBP1 and MMP9) with a high significant prognostic ability (HR 6; 95% CI 2.61 - 13.79; P<0.0001). The combination of the two-gene signature plus the CTCs count showed a higher prognostic ability than CTCs enumeration or gene expression alone (P<0.05). This study shows a gene expression profile in PBMNC associated with CTCs count and clinical outcome in metastatic CRPC, describing genes and pathways potentially associated with CRPC progression.

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