DataSheet_1_The potential of using circulating tumour cells and their gene expression to predict docetaxel response in metastatic prostate cancer.docx
Docetaxel improves overall survival (OS) in castration-resistant prostate cancer (PCa) (CRPC) and metastatic hormone-sensitive PCa (mHSPC). However, not all patients respond due to inherent and/or acquired resistance. There remains an unmet clinical need for a robust predictive test to stratify patients for treatment. Liquid biopsy of circulating tumour cell (CTCs) is minimally invasive, can provide real-time information of the heterogeneous tumour and therefore may be a potentially ideal docetaxel response prediction biomarker.Objective
In this study we investigate the potential of using CTCs and their gene expression to predict post-docetaxel tumour response, OS and progression free survival (PFS).Methods
Peripheral blood was sampled from 18 mCRPC and 43 mHSPC patients, pre-docetaxel treatment, for CTC investigation. CTCs were isolated using the epitope independent Parsortix® system and gene expression was determined by multiplex RT-qPCR. We evaluated CTC measurements for post-docetaxel outcome prediction using receiver operating characteristics and Kaplan Meier analysis.Results
Detection of CTCs pre-docetaxel was associated with poor patient outcome post-docetaxel treatment. Combining total-CTC number with PSA and ALP predicted lack of partial response (PR) with an AUC of 0.90, p= 0.037 in mCRPC. A significantly shorter median OS was seen in mCRPC patients with positive CTC-score (12.80 vs. 37.33 months, HR= 5.08, p= 0.0005), ≥3 total-CTCs/7.5mL (12.80 vs. 37.33 months, HR= 3.84, p= 0.0053), ≥1 epithelial-CTCs/7.5mL (14.30 vs. 37.33 months, HR= 3.89, p= 0.0041) or epithelial to mesenchymal transitioning (EMTing)-CTCs/7.5mL (11.32 vs. 32.37 months, HR= 6.73, p= 0.0001). Significantly shorter PFS was observed in patients with ≥2 epithelial-CTCs/7.5mL (7.52 vs. 18.83 months, HR= 3.93, p= 0.0058). mHSPC patients with ≥5 CTCs/7.5mL had significantly shorter median OS (24.57 vs undefined months, HR= 4.14, p= 0.0097). In mHSPC patients, expression of KLK2, KLK4, ADAMTS1, ZEB1 and SNAI1 was significantly associated with shorter OS and/or PFS. Importantly, combining CTC measurements with clinical biomarkers increased sensitivity and specificity for prediction of patient outcome.Conclusion
While it is clear that CTC numbers and gene expression were prognostic for PCa post-docetaxel treatment, and CTC subtype analysis may have additional value, their potential predictive value for docetaxel chemotherapy response needs to be further investigated in large patient cohorts.