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Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957

Abstract

RODRIGUEZ, Laura; OTERO, William  and  GROSSO., Fabio. A review of metastatic cancer with unknown primary cancer. Rev Col Gastroenterol [online]. 2018, vol.33, n.2, pp.134-144. ISSN 0120-9957.  http://dx.doi.org/10.22516/25007440.254.

Metastatic tumors do not always have obvious origins: in one third of these cases, the primary tumor is never found. This article is a guide to the most recent advances in diagnostic approaches and patient management of these fatal and frequent tumors. An additional objective of this article is to help avoid common and serious errors. One of the most important errors is not taking the fundamental role of histological confirmation into account since it can avoid unnecessary investigations.

The article also details the components of a standard evaluation, classification according to prognosis and indications for a secondary evaluation. These include indications for upper and lower endoscopy, tumor markers, positron emission tomography, and the roles of genetic profiling, epigenetics and viral DNA. It also indicates the moment at which an investigation should be stopped. Recently, treatment has changed, and these changes seems to have changed the history of these patients and their counterparts with known primary tumors.

Keywords : Metastatic tumor; unknown primary; cancer.

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