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Int J Oncol. 2000 Sep;17(3):573-8.

Peripheral blood tumor cell load reflects the clinical activity of the disease in patients with carcinoma of the breast.

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Immunicon Corporation, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006, USA.


Peripheral blood was examined for the presence of tumor cells at multiple time points over a one-year period in 45 patients with a history of surgical resection of breast carcinoma. The number of circulating epithelial cells in 8 of 8 patients with clinically active disease concurred or preceded changes in the disease activity. In 12 of 37 patients with no evidence of disease epithelial cells were found at least at one time point at a frequency larger than the control group. One patient had a recurrence of the breast cancer 4 weeks after circulating epithelial cells were detected in the blood.

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