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J Int Soc Prev Community Dent. 2014 Jan;4(1):5-11. doi: 10.4103/2231-0762.129446.

Risk of tumor cell seeding through biopsy and aspiration cytology.

Author information

1
Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology, Rajarajeswari Dental College and Hospital, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.

Abstract

Cancer cells, besides reproducing uncontrollably, lose cohesiveness and orderliness of normal tissue, invade and get detached from the primary tumor to travel and set up colonies elsewhere. Dislodging neoplastically altered cells from a tumor during biopsy or surgical intervention or during simple procedure like needle aspiration is a possibility because they lack cohesiveness, and they attain the capacity to migrate and colonize. Considering the fact that, every tumor cell, is bathed in interstitial fluid, which drains into the lymphatic system and has an individualized arterial blood supply and venous drainage like any other normal cell in our body, inserting a needle or a knife into a tumor, there is a jeopardy of dislodging a loose tumor cell into either the circulation or into the tissue fluid. Tumor cells are easier to dislodge due to lower cell-to-cell adhesion. This theory with the possibility of seeding of tumor cells is supported by several case studies that have shown that after diagnostic biopsy of a tumor, many patients developed cancer at multiple sites and showed the presence of circulating cancer cells in the blood stream on examination. In this review, we evaluate the risk of exposure to seeding of tumor cells by biopsy and aspiration cytology and provide some suggested practices to prevent tumor cell seeding.

KEYWORDS:

Aspiration cytology; biopsy; cancer; metastasis; seeding

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