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Table 3 Clinical features of patients with circulating tumor cell clusters

From: Denosumab treatment is associated with the absence of circulating tumor cells in patients with breast cancer

  No CTC clusters (n = 61) CTC clusters (n = 12) P value Estimate (95% CI)
Age at primary diagnosis, years, mean (SD) 58.08 (10.99) 50.63 (12.6) 0.033 − 8.26 (− 15.3, − 0.44)
Age at first CTC evaluation, years, mean (SD) 63.03 (10.77) 54.87 (12.14) 0.025 − 8.3 (− 16.06, − 1.04)
Stage at diagnosis, n (%)    0.726
 I 7 (11.67%) 2 (16.67%)   
 IA 1 (1.67%) 0 (0%)   
 II 7 (11.67%) 2 (16.67%)   
 IIA 4 (6.67%) 1 (8.33%)   
 III 16 (26.67%) 2 (16.67%)   
 IIIA 2 (3.33%) 0 (0%)   
 IIIC 1 (1.67%) 1 (8.33%)   
 IV 21 (35%) 4 (33.33%)   
Lymphocyte node involvement, n (%)    0.855
 N0 15 (27.27%) 4 (36.36%)   
 N1 22 (40%) 3 (27.27%)   
 N2 6 (10.91%) 0 (0%)   
 N3 11 (20%) 4 (36.36%)   
Histologic subtype, n (%)    0.679
 Invasive lobular 9 (14.75%) 1 (8.33%)   
 Invasive ductal 49 (80.33%) 11 (91.67%)   
 Inflammatory invasive lobular 1 (1.64%) 1 (8.33%)   
 Inflammatory 3 (4.92%) 1 (8.33%)   
% of ER+ cells, mean (SD) 62.34 (41.8) 66.42 (42.1) 0.675 0 (− 10, 20)
% of PR+ cells, mean (SD) 32.71 (37.79) 34 (37.3) 0.888 0 (− 10, 20)
% of Ki-67+ cells, mean (SD) 30 (19.65) 23 (16.43) 0.384 − 5 (− 20, − 10)
HER2+, n (%) 13 (22.03%) 1 (9.09%) 0.442 0.36 (0.01–2.97)
Triple-negative, n (%) 7 (12.28%) 0 (0%) 0.588 0 (0–3.7)
Tumor grade, n (%)    0.093
 1 5 (8.33%) 3 (27.27%)   
 2 26 (43.33%) 5 (45.45%)   
 3 29 (48.33%) 3 (27.27%)   
Bisphosphonates, n (%) 14 (23.33%) 2 (16.67%) 1.000 0.66 (0.06–3.68)
Denosumab, n (%) 19 (31.15%) 2 (16.67%) 0.489 0.45 (0.04–2.41)
Radiotherapy, n (%) 30 (49.18%) 5 (41.67%) 0.756 0.74 (0.17–3.06)
Relapse, n (%)
 Any 47 (77.05%) 9 (75%) 1.000 0.9 (0.19–5.83)
 Local 4 (6.56%) 3 (25%) 0.082 4.61 (0.58–32.62)
 Metastasis 40 (65.57%) 5 (41.67%) 0.193 0.38 (0.08–1.59)
Days between primary diagnosis and relapse, mean (SD) 1969.49 (2003.96) 1636.67 (1538.48) 0.633 − 236.86 (− 1643, 1203)
Established metastatic disease at CTC evaluation, n (%) 54 (88.52%) 11 (91.67%) 1.000 1.42 (0.15–70.01)
Number of metastatic sites, mean (SD) 1.96 (0.98) 2.18 (0.98) 0.452 0 (0–1)
Metastasis site, n (%)
 Bone 37 (61.67%) 7 (58.33%) 1.000 0.91 (0.22–4.08)
 Liver 19 (31.67%) 3 (25%) 1.000 0.74 (0.12–3.42)
 Lymph node 15 (25%) 4 (33.33%) 0.497 1.52 (0.29–6.74)
 Pleural 9 (15%) 0 (0%) 0.339 0 (0–2.57)
 Peritoneal 5 (8.33%) 2 (16.67%) 0.323 2.21 (0.19–16.05)
 Lung 7 (11.67%) 1 (8.33%) 1.000 0.7 (0.01–6.47)
 Skin 3 (5%) 0 (0%) 1.000 0 (0–12.81)
 Brain 3 (5%) 1 (8.33%) 0.521 1.74 (0.03–24.14)
 Uterus 1 (1.67%) 1 (8.33%) 0.304 5.27 (0.06–433.34)
 Muscular 2 (3.33%) 1 (8.33%) 0.421 2.63 (0.04–54.78)
  1. Abbreviations: ER Estrogen receptor, HER2 Human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, PR Progesterone receptor
  2. The table shows clinical features of patients with and without circulating tumor cell clusters (CTC clusters)