Writing in the British Journal of Cancer, a public-private team led by scientists from the Kanazawa University Graduate School of Medicine in Japan reports on a system it developed to detect circulating tumor cells "that completely excludes nonspecific signals." The team applied its system to samples from 53 patients with gynecological cancers, detecting circulating tumor cells in 21 of them. It did not detect such cells in healthy controls. Further, the researchers add that "the persistence of CTCs [circulating tumor cells] even after treatments was tightly associated with poor response to the treatments" in the gynecological cancer patients they studied.
Also in the British Journal of Cancer, researchers in Germany and Switzerland show in a cohort of 504 patients undergoing resection for stage I-III rectal cancer that preoperative carcinoembryonic antigen level is predictive of survival outcome. Because of this, the researchers suggest that "preoperative CEA [carcinoembryonic antigen level] should be used as a prognostic factor in the preoperative assessment of rectal cancer patients."