Lymph Node Micrometastases in Lung Cancer

  • Katharina E. Effenberger
  • Wulf Sienel
  • Klaus Pantel
Part of the Cancer Treatment and Research book series (CTAR, volume 135)

Lung cancer remains the most common cause of cancer-related death in Europe and the United States (9, 10). Nonsmall-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) affects approximately 80% of all lung cancer patients (5, 9). Surgery remains the gold standard treatment for locoregional NSCLC, and pathological lymph node (pN) status has remained the strongest clinical prognostic characteristic in early stages of operable NSCLC (21, 23). However, even in early stages, the 5-year survival rate of N0 patients remains at only 60–70% after complete resection of the primary tumor (7, 17). This suggests that tumor cell dissemination occurs early and occult micrometastases or single disseminated tumor cells (DTC), which are not discovered by conventional histopathologic methods, may be present in the lymph nodes at the time of surgery (6, 16, 18, 22, 26). Detection of these cells might potentially improve clinical lymph node staging and help to identify patients who could benefit from adjuvant or neoadjuvant therapy.


NSCLC Patient Disseminate Tumor Cell Quantitative Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction Tumor Cell Dissemination CK19 mRNA 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Katharina E. Effenberger
    • 1
  • Wulf Sienel
    • 2
  • Klaus Pantel
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Tumor BiologyUniversity Medical CenterGermany
  2. 2.Department of Thoracic SurgeryAlbert-Ludwigs-University FreiburgGermany

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