© 2014, International Society of Oncology and BioMarkers (ISOBM). Recent technological advances have made it possible to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) as a prognostic marker in operable breast cancer patients. Whether the presence of CTCs in cancer patients correlates with molecular alterations in the primary tumor has not been widely explored. We identified 14 primary breast cancer specimens with known CTC status, in order to evaluate the presence of differential genetic aberrations by using SNP array assay. There was a global increase of altered genome, CNA, and copy-neutral loss of heterozygosity (cn-LOH) observed in the CTC-positive (CTC+) versus CTC-negative (CTC−) cases. As the preliminary results showed a higher proportion of copy number alteration (CNA) at 8q24 (MYC loci) and the available evidence supporting the role of MYC in the processes cancer metastases is conflicting, MYC status was determined in tissue microarray sections in a larger series of patients (n = 49) with known CTC status using FISH. MYC was altered in 62 % (16/26) CTC+ patients and in 43 % (6/14) CTC− patients (p = 0.25). Based on the observation in our study, future studies involving a larger number of patients should be performed in order to definitively define if this correlation exists.
- Breast cancer
- Circulating tumor cells
- Single-nucleotide polymorphism