Circulating Tumor Cell Detection by Liquid Biopsy during Early-Stage Endometrial Cancer Surgery: A Pilot Study
The recurrence of non-metastatic endometrial carcinoma (EC) (6 to 21%) might be due to disseminated tumor cells. This feasibility study investigated whether circulating tumor cells (CTCs) were detectable in blood samples from the peripheral and ovarian veins of 10 patients undergoing laparoscopic resection of stage I-II EC between July 2019 and September 2021. CTCs were detected using the CellSearch ® system (i) preoperatively (T0) in peripheral blood, (ii) after ovary suspensory ligament pediculation in ovarian vein blood (T1), and (iii) before colpotomy in peripheral blood (T2). CTCs were detected only in ovarian vein samples in 8/10 patients. The CTC median number did not differ with patient age (37 (min-max: 0–91) in <70-year-old vs. 11 (0–65) in ≥70 year-old women, p = 0.59), tumor grade (15 (0–72) for grade 1 vs. 15 (0–91) for grade 2, p = 0.97), FIGO stage (72 (27–91) vs. 2 (0–65) vs. 3 (0–6]) for stage IA, B, and II, respectively; p = 0.08), and tumor size (40 (2–72) for size < 30 mm vs. 4 (0–91) for size ≥ 30 mm, p = 0.39). Estrogen receptor-positive CTCs and CTC clusters were identified. The prognostic and therapeutic values of CTCs released during EC surgery need to be determined.