Cell line dependent expression of EpCAM influences the detection of circulating tumor cells with CellSearch

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


OBJECTIVES: The existence of circulating tumor cells has emerged as an important factor for prognosis and survival. The CellSearch method is the only circulating tumor cell detection method approved by the US Food and Drug Administration for clinical use. It relies on the detection of EpCAM (epithelial cell adhesion molecule) and is approved for colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer. We now investigated whether CellSearch can be used to quantify circulating tumor cells in head and neck squamous cell cancer.

STUDY DESIGN AND METHODS: In this study, we investigated the expression of EpCAM in 12 head and neck squamous cell cancer cell lines using Western blot and how this affected their detectability with CellSearch in peripheral blood.

RESULTS: We found a great variation in the expression of EpCAM between our head and neck squamous cell cancer cell lines. This was accompanied by variations in counting efficiency.

CONCLUSION: We suggest that for reliable quantification of circulating tumor cells in blood from patients with head and neck squamous cell cancer cell, an epitope independent method is preferable.



External organisations
  • Skåne University Hospital
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Cancer and Oncology
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)194-198
Number of pages5
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Aug
Publication categoryResearch