Detection of occult metastases in lung carcinomas: Progress and implications for lung cancer staging

Richard J. Cote, Debra Hawes, Benjaporn Chaiwun, Edward J. Beattie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

48 Scopus citations


The ability to detect occult regional and systemic metastases in patients with operable lung carcinoma could have a significant impact on the management of the disease. Here, we review the literature, including studies from our own laboratory, regarding the clinical significance of the presence of occult metastases in patients with lung cancer. The accumulated evidence strongly suggests that the detection of occult regional and systemic metastases is an important predictor of disease progression. The use of this method should be considered in the future design of lung cancer clinical trials, at the very least. The detection of occult metastases should have an impact on lung cancer management; to reflect this, we propose a change in the TNM staging system to indicate the presence or absence of occult regional (lymph node) and systemic (bone marrow) metastases. The proposed change is TNnMm, where n and m are occult nodal and bone marrow metastases status.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)265-274
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of surgical oncology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone marrow
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Lung cancer
  • Lymph nodes
  • Occult metastases

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


Dive into the research topics of 'Detection of occult metastases in lung carcinomas: Progress and implications for lung cancer staging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this