Circulating tumor cell blood test controversial?

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Question from DSD: My oncologist orders the circulating tumor cell blood test every 3 months. She utilizes the results, coupled with other indicators (such as scans), to evaluate treatment efficacy and plan future treatment. Are these uses controversial? What are the positive benefits and potentially negative consequences of this test and of using its results?
Answers - Eric Winer, M.D. The use of circulating tumor cells as a means to follow women with metastatic breast cancer is somewhat controversial. The concerns you have are probably best addressed in a one-on-one conversation with you and your medical oncologist.

On Wednesday, December 15, 2010, our Ask-the-Expert Online Conference was called Updates from the 2010 San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium. Eric Winer, M.D. and Marisa Weiss, M.D. answered your questions about the latest updates on breast cancer risk, screening, and treatment in early and metastatic breast cancer.

The materials presented in these conferences do not necessarily reflect the views of A qualified healthcare professional should be consulted before using any therapeutic product or regimen discussed. All readers should verify all information and data before employing any therapies described here.

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