Impact of disseminated tumor cells in gastrointestinal cancer

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The detection of epithelial cells by sensitive immunological and molecular methods in blood, lymph nodes or bone marrow of gastrointestinal cancer patients may open a new approach to clinical metastasis research. The phenotypic and genomic characterization of these cells is of great value in the prediction of the further course of the disease and the monitoring of response to treatment. In addition, the role of ultrastaging in blood, lymph nodes and bone marrow of cancer patients for the indication of multimodal therapy is discussed in this review. The impact of prognostic or predictive factors for new treatment protocols in patients with gastrointestinal cancer was evaluated as well as the correlation with clinical factors.

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