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In this review of 195 patients with metastatic breast cancer, detection of 5 or more circulating cancer cells in 7.5 mL of whole blood correlated with reduced overall survival. Furthermore, the presence of extensive bone metastases, as detected by PET/CT, was shown to be associated with increased circulating tumor cells (CTC).

Detection and Significance of Circulating Tumor Cells in Patients with Metastatic Breast Cancer