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Open AccessArticle

Circulating Tumor Cells Detection and Counting in Uveal Melanomas by a Filtration-Based Method

Department of Translational Medicine and Surgery, Università di Firenze, Firenze 50134, Italy
Department of Biomedical, Experimental and Clinical Sciences, Università di Firenze, Firenze 50139, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Cancers 2014, 6(1), 323-332;
Received: 24 October 2013 / Revised: 8 January 2014 / Accepted: 9 January 2014 / Published: 7 February 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Circulating Tumor Cells in Cancers)
PDF [593 KB, uploaded 21 February 2014]


Uveal melanoma is one of the most deadly diseases in ophthalmology for which markers able to predict the appearance of metastasis are needed. The study investigates the role of circulating tumor cells (CTC) as a prognostic factor in this disease. We report the detection of circulating tumor cells by Isolation by Size of Epithelial Tumor cells (ISET) in a cohort of 31 uveal melanoma patients: we identified single CTCs or clusters of cells in 17 patients, while the control population, subjects with choroidal nevi, showed no CTC in peripheral blood. The presence of CTCs did not correlate with any clinical and pathological parameter, such as tumor larger basal diameter (LBD), tumor height and TNM. By stratifying patients in groups on the basis of the number of CTC (lower or higher than 10 CTC per 10 mL blood) and the presence of CTC clusters we found a significant difference in LBD (p = 0.019), Tumor height (p = 0.048), disease-free and overall survival (p < 0.05). In conclusion, we confirm the role of CTC as a negative prognostic marker in uveal melanoma patients after a long follow-up period. Further characterization of CTC will help understanding uveal melanoma metastasization and improve patient management. View Full-Text
Keywords: CTC; circulating tumor microemboli (CTM); tumor marker; liquid biopsy; ISET CTC; circulating tumor microemboli (CTM); tumor marker; liquid biopsy; ISET

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Mazzini, C.; Pinzani, P.; Salvianti, F.; Scatena, C.; Paglierani, M.; Ucci, F.; Pazzagli, M.; Massi, D. Circulating Tumor Cells Detection and Counting in Uveal Melanomas by a Filtration-Based Method. Cancers 2014, 6, 323-332.

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