Predicting Metastasis in Melanoma by Enumerating Circulating Tumor Cells Using Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry
Lasers in surgery and medicine
cancer staging, microfluidic, optoacoustics
BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Enumerating circulating tumor cells has been used as a method of monitoring progression of various cancers. Various methods for detecting circulating melanoma cells (CMCs) have been reported, but none has had sufficient sensitivity to determine if the presence of rare CMCs in the blood of Stage I-III melanoma patients predicts if those patients eventually develop metastatic disease. STUDY DESIGN: We quantified CMCs in serial blood samples from 38 early stage melanoma patients to determine if CMC numbers predict development of metastatic melanoma. CMCs were enumerated using a photoacoustic flow cytometric detection system that uses a laser to induce high frequency acoustic signals in pigmented CMCs. RESULTS: We observed that detection of greater than 2 CMCs/ml of blood from patients with Stage I-III melanoma predicts metastatic disease. Of the 11 patients we studied who had two or fewer CMCs detected at all time points tested, none progressed to metastatic disease over a mean follow-up of 1288 days. In contrast, 18 of the 27 patients (67%) having more than 2 CMCs/ml at one or more time points progressed to metastatic disease over a mean follow-up of 850 days. CONCLUSIONS: Photoacoustic flow cytometry can detect rare CMCs in the blood of Stage I-III melanoma patients and detectionof these cells is predictive of subsequent development of metastatic disease. Lasers Surg. Med.
Edgar, R. H., Tarhini, A., Sander, C., Sanders, M. E., Cook, J. L., & Viator, J. A. (2021). Predicting Metastasis in Melanoma by Enumerating Circulating Tumor Cells Using Photoacoustic Flow Cytometry. Lasers in surgery and medicine, 53 (4), 578-586. https://doi.org/10.1002/lsm.23286