Search tips
Search criteria 


Logo of jrsocmedLink to Publisher's site
J R Soc Med. 1983 May; 76(5): 359–364.
PMCID: PMC1439138

Detection of isolated mammary carcinoma cells in marrow of patients with primary breast cancer.


Single cells from mammary carcinoma infiltrating bone marrow can be detected in marrow aspirates using immunocytochemical stains for epithelial membrane antigen (EMA). This technique has been used to examine marrow aspirates taken from multiple sites from 24 patients at surgery for breast cancer. Ten of these patients had EMA-positive cells in their marrow, while 32 marrow samples from patients who did not have carcinoma were negative. These results have been combined with those obtained by taking aspirates from single sites from 47 breast patients without known skeletal deposits. Follow up showed that the patients with EMA-positive cells in their marrow developed bone metastases at a significantly faster rate.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (978K), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Images in this article

Click on the image to see a larger version.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Coombes RC, Powles TJ, Abbott M, De Rivas L, Ford HT, McCready VR, Neville AM, Gazet JC. Physical test for distant metastases in patients with breast cancer. J R Soc Med. 1980 Sep;73(9):617–623. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Dearnaley DP, Sloane JP, Ormerod MG, Steele K, Coombes RC, Clink HM, Powles TJ, Ford HT, Gazet JC, Neville AM. Increased detection of mammary carcinoma cells in marrow smears using antisera to epithelial membrane antigen. Br J Cancer. 1981 Jul;44(1):85–90. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Foster CS, Edwards PA, Dinsdale EA, Neville AM. Monoclonal antibodies to the human mammary gland. I. Distribution of determinants in non-neoplastic mammary and extra mammary tissues. Virchows Arch A Pathol Anat Histol. 1982;394(3):279–293. [PubMed]
  • Haybittle JL, Blamey RW, Elston CW, Johnson J, Doyle PJ, Campbell FC, Nicholson RI, Griffiths K. A prognostic index in primary breast cancer. Br J Cancer. 1982 Mar;45(3):361–366. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Heyderman E, Steele K, Ormerod MG. A new antigen on the epithelial membrane: its immunoperoxidase localisation in normal and neoplastic tissue. J Clin Pathol. 1979 Jan;32(1):35–39. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Peto R, Pike MC, Armitage P, Breslow NE, Cox DR, Howard SV, Mantel N, McPherson K, Peto J, Smith PG. Design and analysis of randomized clinical trials requiring prolonged observation of each patient. II. analysis and examples. Br J Cancer. 1977 Jan;35(1):1–39. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Sloane JP, Ormerod MG. Distribution of epithelial membrane antigen in normal and neoplastic tissues and it value in diagnostic tumor pathology. Cancer. 1981 Apr 1;47(7):1786–1795. [PubMed]
  • Sloane JP, Ormerod MG, Imrie SF, Coombes RC. The use of antisera to epithelial membrane antigen in detecting micrometastases in histological sections. Br J Cancer. 1980 Sep;42(3):392–398. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine are provided here courtesy of Royal Society of Medicine Press