All the patients with breast cancer were clinically
classified as stages I to IV. The patients with primary breast cancer were performed lumpectomy followed by chemotherapy. Thirteen of the 48 patients (27%) were found to have CK19+ cells in peripheral blood including 7 patients with primary breast cancer and 6 with metastatic breast cancer (Table 2). Table 1 Details of patients and CK19 expression in peripheral blood Number of patients % Positive cases Pathology size < 1 cm 5 10.4 1 1–2 cm 11 22.9 3 > 2 cm 32 66.7 9 Clinical stage Benign tumor 7 14.6 0 I 4 8.3 0 II 23 47.9 2 III 7 14.6 5 IV 7 14.6 6 Histology BAY 80-6946 Infiltrating ductal carcinoma 39 81.3 13 Fibroadenoma 1 2 0 Struma 6 12.5 0 Intraductal breast cancer 2 4.2 0 Distant metastasis Metastasis 7 14.6 6 Without metastasis 41 85.4 7 Note: The patient age ranged from 28 to 82 years old. Table 2 Overview of CK19+ results in volunteers, benign tumor patients and stage I–IV breast cancer patients Total number Positive Detection Rate Healthy control 25 0/25 (0%) Benign tumor 7 0/7 (0%) Stage I patients 4 0/4 (0%) Stage II patients 23 2/23 (9%) Stage
III patients 7 5/7 (70%) Stage IV patients Selleckchem GSK126 7 6/7 (86%) Detection of circulating breast cancer cells in peripheral blood of patients before surgery by flow cytometry Flow cytometric analyses showed that no CK19 was expressed in peripheral blood of healthy control (n = 25), benign tumor patients (n = 7) and breast cancer patients at stage I (n = 4) (Figures 4A, B, C). But there existed CK19+ cells in the peripheral blood samples of patients at stages II, III, and IV (Figure 4D, E, F),
with the median of each group of 0.15% (n = 2), 0.44% (n = 5) and 1.47% (n = 6) (Figure 5), respectively. There was significant difference in CK19 expression between patients at stage Carnitine palmitoyltransferase II III and stage IV (p = 0.0043). Figure 4 CK19 expression in peripheral blood of healthy controls and breast tumor patients. Peripheral white blood cells were isolated and stained with FITC-conjugated mouse anti-human CK19 antibody to examine CK19 expression. (A) Healthy volunteers; (B) Benign tumor patients; Breast cancer patients at stage I (C), stage II (D), stage III (E) and stage IV (F). Figure 5 The expression level of CK19 in peripheral blood of breast cancer patients is correlated with the disease stage. CK19 from each peripheral blood sample was detected by flow cytometry as described in methods. All the negative results were shown as number undetected. All 4 patients at stage I were CK19 negative. The median is marked as “”—”" in each group. Where the frequency of negative cases is > 50%, the median cannot be shown. p < 0.05 was considered significant. The change of CK19 expression in 15 patients with breast cancer during 3 month-chemotherapy The dynamic expressions of CK19 in peripheral blood lymphocytes were observed in 15 patients with primary breast cancer during 3 month-chemotherapy after lumpectomy.