SciELO - Scientific Electronic Library Online

vol.33 issue2Levels of intraoperative glycemia and their relations to short and long term morbidity and mortality in liver transplant patients at a highly complex hospitalAre self-expanding metal prostheses useful for controlling refractory variceal digestive hemorrhaging? author indexsubject indexarticles search
Home Pagealphabetic serial listing  

Services on Demand



Related links

  • On index processCited by Google
  • Have no similar articlesSimilars in SciELO
  • On index processSimilars in Google


Revista Colombiana de Gastroenterologia

Print version ISSN 0120-9957


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.

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.

        · abstract in Spanish     · text in English | Spanish     · English ( pdf ) | Spanish ( pdf )