The diagnosis of leptomeningeal metastases (LM) of solid tumors is complicated due to low sensitivities of both magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and cytology. MRI has a sensitivity of 76% for the diagnosis of LM and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) cytology has a sensitivity of 44–67% at first lumbar puncture which increases to 84–91% upon second CSF sampling. Epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) is expressed by solid tumors of epithelial origin like non-small-cell lung cancer, breast cancer or ovarium cancer. Recently, a CELLSEARCH® assay and flow cytometry laboratory techniques have been developed to detect circulating tumor cells (CTCs) of epithelial origin in CSF. These laboratory techniques are based on capture antibodies labelled with different fluorescent tags against EpCAM. In this review, we provide an overview of the available laboratory techniques and diagnostic accuracy for tumor cell detection in CSF. The reported sensitivities of the EpCAM-based CTC assays for the diagnosis of LM across the different studies are highly promising and vary between 76 and 100%. An overview of the different EpCAM-based techniques for the enumeration of CTCs in the CSF is given and a comparison is made with CSF cytology for the diagnoses of LM from epithelial tumors.
Journal of Neuro-Oncology – Springer Journals
Published: Nov 30, 2017
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