DataSheet_1_The potential of using circulating tumour cells and their gene expression to predict docetaxel response in metastatic prostate cancer.docx (159.74 kB)
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DataSheet_1_The potential of using circulating tumour cells and their gene expression to predict docetaxel response in metastatic prostate cancer.docx

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posted on 2023-01-16, 04:36 authored by Caitlin R. Davies, Tianyu Guo, Edwina Burke, Elzbieta Stankiewicz, Lei Xu, Xueying Mao, Glenda Scandura, Prabhakar Rajan, Karen Tipples, Constantine Alifrangis, Akhila Ganeshi Wimalasingham, Myria Galazi, Shanthini Crusz, Thomas Powles, Alistair Grey, Tim Oliver, Sakunthala Kudahetti, Greg Shaw, Daniel Berney, Jonathan Shamash, Yong-Jie Lu

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.


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).


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.


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.


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.