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Case Rep Oncol. 2012 Sep;5(3):542-5. doi: 10.1159/000343677. Epub 2012 Oct 10.

Circulating tumor cells as a potential biomarker in selecting patients for pulmonary metastasectomy from colorectal cancer: report of a case.

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Department of Thoracic Surgery, Hyogo College of Medicine, Nishinomiya, Japan.


Pulmonary metastasectomy is indicated for selected patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. A 43-year-old woman presented with solitary pulmonary metastasis from descending colon cancer and pulmonary metastasectomy was performed because of absence of any other active metastasis as well as normal serum carcinoembryonic antigen value. However, she died due to early development of nodal and bone metastases within 6 months after thoracotomy. The presence of circulating tumor cells (CTCs) in the peripheral blood (6 CTCs/7.5 ml) was the only factor to predict such a poor prognosis, suggesting that the CTC test is useful in selecting patients for pulmonary metastasectomy.


Circulating tumor cells; Colorectal cancer; Pulmonary metastasectomy

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