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Trends Cell Biol. 2000 Nov;10(11):489-93.

The biology and analysis of single disseminated tumour cells.

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  • Institut für Immunologie, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München, München, Germany. cklein@ifi.med.unimuenchen.de


Despite an increasing molecular-genetic understanding of the development of malignant epithelial neoplasias, the frontline therapy for patients with carcinomas is still surgery. Systemic adjuvant treatments such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy have had limited success perhaps because they are based on analysis of the primary tumour or on cell lines derived from metastasis. However, the characteristics of systemically disseminated tumour cells can be very different from that of the primary tumour or end-stage metastasis. Consequently, there is a need to study the evolution and nature of systemic cancer directly in order to identify new target structures for therapy present on the potential precursors of metastasis--the disseminated tumour cells.

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