Previous reports have shown that circulating endothelial progenitor cells (CEPs) are released in response to cytotoxic chemotherapy. We investigate the relationship between the kinetics of CEPs during one cycle of chemotherapy and the response to cytotoxic chemotherapy and prognostic impacts. Previously untreated patients (n = 38) receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy for non-small-cell lung cancer were included. Blood sampling was carried out on day 1, day 8, and just before the second cycle of chemotherapy. The mononuclear cell fraction was analyzed for CEPs by FACS analysis. We evaluated the relationship between the kinetics of CEPs, each independent clinicopathological variable, the response to chemotherapy, and the risk factors associated with prognosis. On the eighth day after chemotherapy, a significant decrease in CEPs was observed. In contrast, CEP counts before the second cycle of chemotherapy were significantly increased. The high percentage change in CEPs between day 1 and before the second cycle of chemotherapy is an independent predictive factor for response to chemotherapy. However, the change in CEP levels did not predict progression-free survival. These findings indicate that the late release of CEPs is a common phenomenon after chemotherapeutic treatment. The correlation with clinical response to chemotherapy provides further support for the biologic relevance of these cells in patients' prognosis and highlights the potential use of CEPs as therapeutic targets.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research