Detection of hematogenous micrometastases (MM) in bone marrow might play important role in determining stage, prognosis and multimodality treatment strategy of invasive breast cancer. Therefore we studied the presence of occult tumor cells in bone marrow of outpatients operated on with breast cancer by detecting cytokeratin 20 mRNA using the RT-PCR method. In 182 primary breast cancer patients 54 (29.7%) micrometastases were detected while in 128 patients (70.3%) no tumor cells were found in the bone marrow aspirates. Correlation of MM with HER-2, c-met, nm23, p53 and estrogen receptor (ER) were studied. The presence of MM was correlated with HER-2, nm23- and p53 positivity and with low frequency of nm23 and ER. The possible role of bone marrow MM in selecting node negative breast cancer patients for adjuvant therapy should be tested in randomized prospective clinical trials.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2003|
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