Diversity of epithelial-mesenchymal phenotypes in circulating tumour cells from prostate cancer patient-derived xenograft models
Metastasis is the leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide. Epithelial-mesenchymal plasticity (EMP) status of primary tumours has relevance to metastatic potential and therapy resistance. Circulating tumour cells (CTCs) provide a window into the metastatic process, and molecular characterisation of CTCs in comparison to their primary tumours could lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the metastatic cascade.
In this study, paired blood and tumour samples were collected from 4 prostate cancer patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models (BM18, LuCaP70, LuCaP96, LuCaP105) and assessed using an EMP-focused, 42 gene human-specific, nested quantitative RT-PCR assay. CTC burden varied amongst the various xenograft models with LuCaP96 having the highest number of CTCs per mouse (mean: 704; median: 31) followed by BM18 (mean: 101; median: 21), LuCaP70 (mean: 73; median: 16) and LuCaP105 (mean: 57; median: 6).
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