Bladder Cancer (Application of a telomerase-based circulating tumor cell (CTC) assay in bladder cancer patients receiving postoperative radiation therapy. Ju et al. Cancer Biology & Therapy 15:6, 683-687 (2014).

Each year in the United States urothelial bladder carcinoma is diagnosed in 70,000 individuals and causes death in 14,000. A major difficulty in the management of patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer is the limited ability to accurately classify the extent of disease within the bladder, within the pelvic lymph nodes, and systemically. Accurate assessment of disease extent is critical to optimize the use of definitive, adjunctive, and salvage treatment options, such as radical cystectomy, chemotherapy, and radiation. In the study outlined in this manuscript our telomerase-based assay was used to identify circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in bladder cancer patients. Further, the studies illustrate the possibility of employing the assay to track disease course and potentially inform for the management of disease.



Figure 1. Serial imaging and corresponding CTC counts for two bladder cancer patients in relationship to radiation therapy (RT). A. Axial image from patient ones abdomen/pelvis MRI scans at indicated time points. Red arrow indicates site of recurrence at 1-month post-RT. B. Graph of patient ones CTC counts at indicated time points demonstrating upward trend. C. Axial image from patient twos abdomen/pelvis CR or MRI scans at indicated time points. Blue arrow shows area of MRI enhancement in right pelvis at 1-month post-RT, which is resolved at 4 months post-RT. D. Graph of patient twos CTC counts at indicated time points demonstrating downward trend.

Summary: The study demonstrates that Liquid Biotech’s telomerase-based assay can identify CTCs serially in patients with bladder carcinoma. The CTC trends appeared to reflect the patients’ disease course.