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CTC Detection Linked to Relapse in Stage III Melanoma

Brittany Cote
Published: Wednesday, Feb 12, 2020

Anthony Lucci, MD, professor of breast surgical oncology and surgical oncology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center

Anthony Lucci, MD

The presence of circulating tumor cell (CTCs) was found to be independently associated with relapse in patients with stage III melanoma, suggesting that CTC assessment may be useful in identify patients who are at risk for relapse and could benefit from adjuvant therapy.1

“Our analysis demonstrated that CTC detection was significantly associated with a decrease in relapse-free survival at 6 months, and persisted at a 54-month longer-term follow-up,” Lucci added in the press release. “The data from this study provides support for the future pursuit of liquid biopsy techniques to help identify patients most likely to benefit from adjuvant systemic therapy.”


  1. Lucci, A. Hall, CS, Patel, SP, et al. Circulating tumor cells and early relapse in node-positive melanoma. Clin Cancer Res. 2020;1-31. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.CCR-19-2670.           
  2. Study demonstrates liquid biopsy as effective predictor of stage III melanoma relapse and treatment [news release]. The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Published February 3, 2020. Accessed February 4, 2020.

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