Current Diagnosis and Future Impact of Micrometastases for Therapeutic Strategies in Adenocarcinoma of the Esophagus, Gastric Cardia, and Upper Gastric Third
Esophageal and gastric cancers are aggressive neoplasms with a poor prognosis. Although postoperative mortality has declined and rates of complete resection have improved considerably, 5 year survival rates are still very low. Early metastatic relapse after complete resection of an apparently localized primary lesion indicates that disseminated tumor cells, undetectable by current methods, may already have been present at the time of surgery, even in patients with seemingly early tumor stages. Occult residual tumor disease is suggested when either bone marrow or lymph nodes from which tumor relapse may originate are affected by micrometastatic lesions undetectable by conventional histopathology. The presence of single tumor cells detected by immunohistological methods is increasingly regarded as a clinically relevant prognostic factor. The use of antibodies against tumor-associated targets enables detection of individual epithelial tumor cells in lymph nodes and in bone marrow in various tumor entities. The potential role and benefit of an antibody-based treatment as a therapeutic target would be of particular interest in tumors with a notoriously poor prognosis such as esophageal cancer and cardia cancer.
KeywordsEsophageal Cancer Esophageal Carcinoma Esophagogastric Junction Disseminate Tumor Cell Cardia Cancer
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