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Evaluation of disseminated tumor cells and circulating tumor cells in patients with breast cancer receiving adjuvant zoledronic acid.


We evaluated disseminated tumor cells (DTCs) and circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in patients with stage I-III breast cancer with >4 MM/mL DTC at baseline who received adjuvant zoledronic acid (ZOL). ZOL was administered every 4 weeks for 24 months, and patients underwent bone marrow aspiration at baseline, and 12 and 24 months of ZOL. Complete DTC response (<4 DTC/mL), serial CTCs, survival, recurrence, and toxicity were determined. Forty-five patients received ZOL. Median baseline DTC was 13.3/mL. Significant reduction in median DTC occurred from baseline to 12 months, and 24 months. Complete DTC response was seen in 32% at 12 months, and 26% at 24 months. Nine patients developed recurrence. Baseline DTC > 30/mL and CTC > 0.8/mL were significantly associated with recurrence and death. Serial reduction in DTCs occurred. Higher baseline DTC > 30/mL and CTC > 0.8/mL correlated with recurrence and death.

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