Identification of cancer-associated fibroblasts in circulating blood from patients with metastatic breast cancer

Zheng Ao, Sanket H. Shah, Leah M. Machlin, Ritesh Parajuli, Philip C. Miller, Siddarth Rawal, Anthony J. Williams, Richard J Cote, Marc E Lippman, Ram Datar, Dorraya El-Ashry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

56 Scopus citations

Abstract

Metastasis is facilitated by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) in the tumor microenvironment through mechanisms yet to be elucidated. In this study, we used a size-based microfilter technology developed by our group to examine whether circulating CAF identified by FAP and α-SMA co-expression (cCAF) could be distinguished in the peripheral blood of patients with metastatic breast cancer. In a pilot study of patients with breast cancer, we detected the presence of cCAFs in 30/34 (88%) patients with metastatic disease (MET group) and in 3/13 (23%) patients with localized breast cancer (LOC group) with long-term disease-free survival. No cCAFs as defined were detected in healthy donors. Further, both cCAF and circulating tumor cells (CTC) were significantly greater in the MET group compared with the LOC group. Thus, the presence of cCAF was associated with clinical metastasis, suggesting that cCAF may complement CTC as a clinically relevant biomarker in metastatic breast cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4681-4687
Number of pages7
JournalCancer Research
Volume75
Issue number22
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 15 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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    Ao, Z., Shah, S. H., Machlin, L. M., Parajuli, R., Miller, P. C., Rawal, S., Williams, A. J., Cote, R. J., Lippman, M. E., Datar, R., & El-Ashry, D. (2015). Identification of cancer-associated fibroblasts in circulating blood from patients with metastatic breast cancer. Cancer Research, 75(22), 4681-4687. https://doi.org/10.1158/0008-5472.CAN-15-1633