A new study suggests that circulating tumor cells (CTCs) could be used to detect the recurrence of lung cancer, Medscape reports. 

“CTC elevations in many patients meaningfully precede radiologic evidence of disease recurrence and may be a promising biomarker of progressive or recurrent disease to help guide early salvage therapeutic strategies,”  Chinniah said during a press briefing.

The idea of using CTCs as a “liquid biopsy” to monitor treatment and assess outcomes has been gaining momentum in cancer research over the past few years, and for several cancer types.

This latest study was a prospective clinical trial that included 48 patients with stage I to III LA-NSCLC who had been treated with concurrent chemoradiation. Within this group, 48% had squamous cell carcinoma  and 46% had adenocarcinoma, and the median primary tumor size was 3.7 cm (range, 1.5 to 10.0 cm).

More than half (54%) of the patients had stage IIIA disease, and 33% had stage IIIB with cN2 (60%) or cN3 (23%) nodal disease.

Read more at www.medscape.com