Pilot study of circulating tumor cells in early-stage and metastatic uveal melanoma

Kartik Anand, Jason Roszik, Dan Gombos, Joshua Upshaw, Vanessa Sarli, Salyna Meas, Anthony Lucci, Carolyn Hall, Sapna Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Nearly 50% of uveal melanoma (UM) patients develop metastatic disease, and there remains no current standard assay for detection of minimal residual disease. We conducted a pilot study to check the feasibility of circulating tumor cell (CTC) detection in UM. We enrolled 40 patients with early or metastatic UM of which 20 patients had early-stage disease, 19 had metastatic disease, and one was not evaluable. At initial blood draw, 36% of patients had detectable CTCs (30% in early-stage vs. 42% in metastatic), which increased to 54% at data cutoff (40% in early-stage vs. 68% in metastatic). Five early-stage patients developed distant metastases, 60% (3/5) had detectable CTCs before radiographic detection of the metastasis. Landmark overall survival (from study enrollment) at 24 months was statistically lower in CTC-positive vs. negative early-stage UM (p < 0.05). Within this small dataset, the presence of CTCs in early-stage UM predicted an increased risk of metastatic disease and was associated with worse outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number856
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019


  • Circulating tumor cells
  • Liquid biopsy
  • Pilot study
  • Uveal melanoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Cancer Research


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