Table 3

Comparison of risk groups on demographic or treatment characteristics and other prognostic markers
Parameter Low Risk (CTC-L) CTC = 0 Medium Risk (CTC-M)CTC1-4 High Risk (CTC-H) CTC > =5 TOTAL Association with LMH p-Value Association with OS p-value (HR)
N/NG % N/NG % N/NG % N/NG %
Patients with age at TSE >50 16/20 80 13/15 87 14/24 58 43/59 73 n.s. n.s.
Patients with age at BC diagnosis >50 9/20 45 10/15 67 11/24 46 30/59 51 n.s. n.s.
T3/T4 at BC diagnosis 2/16 12.5 4/10 40 5/20 25 11/46 24 n.s. <0.01 (HR = 5.1)
N0 at BC diagnosis (NX = missing value) 7/16 44 2/10 20 2/19 10.5 11/45 24 0.03 (CAX) 0.001
ER/PR at least one positive 15/19 79 8/13 61.5 18/22 82 41/54 76 n.s. 0.02 (HR = 0.37)
HER2 overexpressed 4/14 29 2/11 18 4/21 19 10/46 22 n.s. n.s.
CA 15–3 above normal value of 31.3 (≤ 30 days before TSE) 9/13 69 6/9 67 18/18 100 33/40 85 0.02 (FSHX) 0.03 (CAX) n.s.
CRP above normal value of 5 (≤ 30 days before TSE) 3/12 25 5/8 62.5 13/19 68 21/39 54 0.03 (CAX) n.s.
Visceral metastases 8/20 40 7/14 50 10/23 43.5 25/57 44 n.s. n.s.
Nonvisceral metastases 20/20 100 12/14 86 22/23 96 54/57 95 n.s. n.s
Bone metastases 14/20 70 6/14 43 20/23 87 40/57 70 0.02 (FSHX) n.s.
No. of metastatic sites > =2 9/20 45 8/14 57 11/23 48 28/57 49 n.s. 0.02 (HR = 2.8)
Surgery of primary tumor 17/20 85 13/15 87 19/24 79 49/59 83 n.s. n.s.
Radiation therapy 14/19 74 9/13 69 16/22 73 39/54 72 n.s. n.s.
Chemotherapy 14/18 78 10/14 71 17/21 81 41/53 77 n.s. n.s.
Mistletoe therapy 20/20 100 15/15 100 24/24 100 59/59 100 - -
Anti-hormone therapy 16/19 84 8/13 61.5 19/23 83 43/55 78 n.s. 0.01 (HR = 0.34)
Bisphosponate therapy 11/17 65 6/14 43 17/19 89.5 34/50 68 0.03 (FSHX) n.s.
Patients with ≥2 known therapy lines 15/20 75 6/15 40 14/24 58 35/59 59 n.s. n.s.

N is the number of patients, NG denotes the number of patients with non-missing values in the respective group. P-values are given if significant (p < 0.05), n.s. denotes “not significant”. LMH denotes the prognostic marker which differentiates between low (L), medium (M) and high (H) CTC levels. Risk groups are compared by the exact Cochrane Armitage trend test (CAX) or Fishers Exact Test (FSHX). Time of study entry (TSE) is defined as time of baseline blood draw. For each parameter in the table the univariate prognostic value for overall survival (OS) prediction is given in the last column. P-Values and Hazard Rates (HR) in this column are computed by Cox Proportional Hazard Regression; except for “N0 at BC diagnosis” the logrank test was used because of no events (deaths) in the reference group.

Weissenstein et al.

Weissenstein et al. BMC Cancer 2012 12:206   doi:10.1186/1471-2407-12-206

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