Detection of survivin-expressing circulating cancer cells in the peripheral blood of patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and its clinical significance

  • Mei Cao
  • Shang-Mian Yie
  • Sheng-Min Wu
  • Shu Chen
  • Be Lou
  • Xu He
  • Shang-Rong Ye
  • Ke Xie
  • Lin Rao
  • En Gao
  • Nai-Yao Ye
Research Paper


We previously demonstrated that the detection of circulating cancer cells (CCC) expressing survivin mRNA could provide valuable information for predicting recurrence in patients with breast, lung, gastric and colorectal carcinoma. The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the detection of survivin-expressing CCC in the peripheral blood is also useful for predicting recurrence in patients with esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC). Blood samples obtained from 108 ESCC patients and 75 healthy volunteers were quantitatively investigated by a technique that detected reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction products based on a hybridization-enzyme linked immunosorbent essay. Not all of the patients were available for the follow-up study. Only 48 patients who were treated with similar adjuvant therapy regimens were available and followed-up for 33 months after the initial assay test. Survivin-expressing CCC were detected in 51 (47.2%) patients. The presence of survivin-expressing CCC was found to be significantly associated with depth of invasion, vascular invasion, nodal status, and disease stages (P = 0.032, 0.019, 0.018, and 0.001, respectively). During the follow-up period, patients who had positive survivin expressions had a higher relapse rate and a shorter survival time than those who had negative survivin expressions (P = 0.002 and 0.016, respectively). Examination of survivin-expressing CCC could provide valuable information in the prediction of haematogenous recurrence as well as in the prognosis of ESCC.


Survivin Circulating cancer cells ESCC RT-PCR ELISA 



This study was partially supported by grants from the Chengdu Municipal Department of Science and Technology (Grant No. 07GGYB240SF-143), and the Sichuan Provincial Department of Science and Technology (Grant No. 07JY029-091).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mei Cao
    • 1
  • Shang-Mian Yie
    • 1
    • 2
  • Sheng-Min Wu
    • 2
  • Shu Chen
    • 4
  • Be Lou
    • 2
  • Xu He
    • 1
  • Shang-Rong Ye
    • 2
  • Ke Xie
    • 3
  • Lin Rao
    • 2
  • En Gao
    • 2
  • Nai-Yao Ye
    • 3
  1. 1.Core Laboratory, Sichuan Academy of Medical SciencesSichuan Provincial People’s HospitalChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Chengdu Bio-Engineering Institute for Cancer ResearchChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Department of Oncology, Sichuan Academy of Medical SciencesSichuan Provincial People’s HospitalChengduPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.Department of Senior Cadre Health Care, Sichuan Academy of Medical SciencesSichuan Provincial People’s HospitalChengduPeople’s Republic of China

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