Characterization of RARRES1 Expression on Circulating Tumor Cells as Unfavorable Prognostic Marker in Resected Pancreatic Ductal Adenocarcinoma Patients


BACKGROUND: In pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), the characterization of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) opens new insights into cancer metastasis as the leading cause of cancer-related death. Here, we focused on the expression of retinoic acid receptor responder 1 (RARRES1) on CTCs as a novel marker for treatment failure and early relapse.

METHODS: The stable isotope labeling of amino acids in cell culture (SILAC)-approach was applied for identifying and quantifying new biomarker proteins in PDAC cell lines HPDE and its chemoresistant counterpart, L3.6pl-Res. Fifty-five baseline and 36 follow-up (FUP) peripheral blood samples were processed via a marker-independent microfluidic-based CTC detection approach using RARRES1 as an additional marker.

RESULTS: SILAC-based proteomics identified RARRES1 as an abundantly expressed protein in more aggressive chemoresistant PDAC cells. At baseline, CTCs were detected in 25.5% of all PDAC patients, while FUP analysis (median: 11 months FUP) showed CTC detection in 45.5% of the resected patients. CTC positivity (≥3 CTC) at FUP was significantly associated with short recurrence-free survival (p = 0.002). Furthermore, detection of RARRES1 positive CTCs was indicative of an even earlier relapse after surgery (p = 0.001).

CONCLUSIONS: CTC detection in resected PDAC patients during FUP is associated with a worse prognosis, and RARRES1 expression might identify an aggressive subtype of CTCs that deserves further investigation.

Bibliographical data

Original languageEnglish
Article number4405
Publication statusPublished - 10.09.2022
PubMed 36139565