alexa Increased levels of viable circulating endothelial cells are an indicator of progressive disease in cancer patients.
Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

Journal of Liver

Author(s): Beerepoot LV, Mehra N, Vermaat JS, Zonnenberg BA, Gebbink MF,

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Abstract BACKGROUND: There is accumulating evidence from preclinical studies that circulating endothelial cells (CECs) play an important role in neovascularization and tumor growth. The role of CECs in human cancer progression is sparsely investigated. We therefore analyzed CECs in peripheral blood of cancer patients. In addition, we correlated CEC levels in these patients with plasma levels of cytokines that are known to mobilize CECs in experimental models. PATIENTS AND METHODS: Viable CECs were isolated, quantified and cultured from cancer patients' whole blood by using magnetic beads coupled to an antibody directed against CD146, a pan-endothelial marker. Viable cells were visualized by calceinAM staining. Positive staining for specific endothelial cell markers [i.e. von Willebrand factor, CD31, vascular endothelial cell growth factor (VEGF) receptor-2] was used to confirm the endothelial phenotype. RESULTS: Cancer patients with progressive disease (95 patients) had on average 3.6-fold more CECs than healthy subjects (46 patients, P <0.001). Patients (17) with stable disease had CEC numbers equal to that circulating in healthy subjects (P = 0.69). A subset of in vitro cultured CECs incorporated into endothelial layers and formed colonies. Plasma levels of cytokines that are thought to mobilize CECs from the bone marrow [VEGF, placental growth factor, stromal cell derived factor 1alpha and stem cell factor (71 patients)] did not correlate with CEC amounts. The levels of viable CECs in cancer patients were modified by granulocyte colony-stimulating factor treatment and chemotherapy. CONCLUSION: In progressive cancer patients, the amount of CECs is increased. These CECs are viable and may contribute to vessel formation. The number of CECs is influenced by anticancer treatment.
This article was published in Ann Oncol and referenced in Journal of Liver

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