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Breast Cancer Res. 2000;2(6):400-7. Epub 2000 Jul 21.

Molecular biology of breast cancer metastasis. Clinical implications of experimental studies on metastatic inefficiency.

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London Regional Cancer Centre, London, Ontario, Canada.


Recent technological advances have led to an increasing ability to detect isolated tumour cells and groups of tumour cells in patients' blood, lymph nodes or bone marrow. However, the clinical significance of these cells is unclear. Should they be considered as evidence of metastasis, necessitating aggressive treatment, or are they in some cases unrelated to clinical outcome? Quantitative experimental studies on the basic biology of metastatic inefficiency are providing clues that may help in understanding the significance of these cells. This understanding will be of use in guiding clinical studies to assess the significance of isolated tumour cells and micrometastases in cancer patients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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