Proteins in circulating tumour cells can predict response to
19 December 2013
Scientists from the University of Granada have demonstrated, for
the first time, that the presence of specific proteins occurring in
circulating tumour cells (CTCs) in blood can predict with great
precision a patient's response to chemotherapy.
These proteins, which make patients particularly sensitive to
specific drugs, can also help predict the associated secondary
effects patients may suffer. CTCs are the origin of cancer
metastasis, which is the cause of more than 9 out of 10 deaths from
The scientists, from the Circulating Tumour Cells and Metastasis
research group of GENYO (Centre for Genomics and Oncological
Research: Pfizer/University of Granada/Andalusian Regional Govt.)
received an award at the 9th International Symposium on Minimal
Residual Cancer for their study on using this technique with patients
with advanced cancer of the colon.
Circulating tumour cells
The patients, studied in the Oncology Unit of the Clinical
Hospital of Granada and the Hospital of Motril, underwent a standard
treatment for the cancer, which includes chemotherapy and a specific
monoclonal antibody that reduces the vascularisation of the tumour.
The study was carried out in collaboration with the Roche Farma
This test on CTCs is one of eight studies the Granada research
group is currently carrying out on patients affected by various
particularly relevant pathologies in oncology, such as breast
cancer, lung cancer, peritoneal carcinomatosis or prostate cancer.
These studies have been funded by the Andalusian Regional
Government’s Health Council, the University of Granada and the
pharmaceutical sector. The work
of this GENYO group has now caught the attention of the pharmaceutical