Assessment of Circulating Tumor Cells as a Predictive Biomarker of Histology in Women with Suspected Ovarian Cancer

Emil Lou, Rachel I. Vogel, Deanna Teoh, Spencer Hoostal, Aaron Grad, Matthew Gerber, Minnu Monu, Tomasz Lukaszewski, Jaai Deshpande, Michael A. Linden, Melissa A. Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Background The clinical assessment of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a blood-based biomarker is FDA-approved for use in breast, colorectal, and prostate cancers. The objective of this prospective clinical study was to determine whether pretreatment CTCs are a useful diagnostic biomarker in women with complex pelvic masses. Methods Whole blood was collected from 49 women with newly diagnosed pelvic masses. The presence of CTCs was compared between women with and without ovarian cancer histopathologic diagnosis after surgery using a Chi-squared test. Results CTCs were absent in those with benign disease (0/14), present in 17% (5/29) of patients with a histologic diagnosis of ovarian carcinoma, and present in 80% (4/5) of patients with ovarian metastases from other cancers (P = 0.001). All 5 women with ovarian cancer who had CTCs present presented stage III or IV of the disease (P = 0.13). Conclusions CTCs were more prevalent in patients with metastases to the ovary than in primary ovarian carcinomas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-139
Number of pages6
JournalLab Medicine
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 21 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by a NIH Clinical and Translational Science KL2 Scholar Award 8UL1TR000114 (to E.L.). The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. Additional funding support came from the Litman Family Fund for Cancer Research; the University of Minnesota Deborah E. Powell Center for Women’s Health Interdisciplinary Seed Grant support (Grant #PCWH-2013-002) (E.L.); Minnesota Masonic Charities; the Masonic Cancer Center (Grant # P30 CA77598) and Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation, University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Clinical Pathology 2018. All rights reserved.


  • Krukenberg tumors
  • biomarkers
  • circulating tumor cells
  • ovarian cancer
  • ovarian mass
  • pelvic mass

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