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Volume 22, Number 6, 2017

Prognostic significance, diagnosis and treatment in patients with gastric cancer and positive peritoneal washings. A review of the literature

Radosław Lisiecki, Małgorzata Kruszwicka, Arkadiusz Spychała, Dawid Murawa


Peritoneal dissemination is a common consequence of a relapse following a radical surgical treatment of gastric cancer. The development of the disease in the peritoneum depends not only on its stage, but also on free cancer cells exfoliated from the tumor mass or from involved lymph nodes, and which are capable of being implanted in the peritoneum. According to the latest TNM (7 edition; 2010) classification, patients with free cancer cells in the peritoneal washings qualify for stage IV of the disease. Patients in whom free cancer cells were found during the operation – have a recurrence of gastric cancer – mainly in the peritoneum, and the majority of them die within two years of the diagnosis. To properly assess the prognosis, it is vital to determine the stage of cancer by additionally assessing the washings for the presence of free cancer cells before taking a therapeutic decision. This also allows identifying those patients who require different medical procedures to obtain the best treatment results possible. Medical literature describes various methods of examining peritoneal washings aimed at detecting free cancer cells. The methods apply different cancer cell detection rates, sensitivity and specificity in prediction of a peritoneal relapse. Oncological Departments performing the evaluation of the washings employ non-standard methods of treatment in this group of patients and the results presented are promising.

Signature: Rep Pract Oncol Radiother, 2017; 22(6) : 434-440

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