Indian Journal of Pathology and Microbiology
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Year : 2021  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 329-333

Isolation and morphology of circulating tumor cells by cell block technique in breast cancer

1 Department of Pathology, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India
2 Department of General Surgery, Government Medical College and Hospital, Chandigarh, India

Correspondence Address:
Nandini Agrawal
P-2, Police Officer's Colony, Sector-2, Panchkula, Haryana - 134 112, Chandigarh
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/IJPM.IJPM_855_20

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Background: Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) are cells present in the blood stream that are antigenically or genetically similar to a specific tumor type and are markers of tumor diagnosis, prognosis, residual disease and metastasis. The ever-increasing burden of breast cancer globally warrants the incorporation of this all-inclusive marker in the diagnostic repertoire using the simplest of techniques. Aims: To identify CTCs in peripheral blood by cell block (CB) technique in cases of breast cancer diagnosed on fine-needle aspiration (FNA) or core needle biopsy (CNB) and to correlate their presence with nodal metastasis. Material and Methods: This study was conducted in the Department of Pathology, at a tertiary care hospital. Peripheral blood samples from a total of 30 cases of primary breast carcinoma diagnosed on FNA or CNB without prior neoadjuvant chemotherapy were analyzed using the CB technique. Results: The age ranged between 29-74 years with the most common presenting complaint being a palpable, single, unilateral breast lump. CTCs were detected in 2 (6.7%) cases with a <5 cell cluster with both the cases being grade I breast carcinomas and also displaying nodal metastasis.

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