We previously proposed a clinical state of metastasis termed 'oligometastases' that refers to restricted tumor metastatic capacity. The implication of this concept is that local cancer treatments are curative in a proportion of patients with metastases. Here we review clinical and laboratory data that support the hypothesis that oligometastasis is a distinct clinical entity. Investigations of the prevalence, mechanism of occurrence, and position in the metastatic cascade, as well as the determination of molecular markers to distinguish oligometastatic from polymetastatic disease, are ongoing.
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The authors are supported by grants from the Ludwig Foundation for Cancer Research, the Lung Cancer Research Foundation, and a generous gift from the Foglia Foundation.
R. R. Weichselbaum is a stock-holder or Director with the following companies: GenVec, Catherex, and Reflexion. S. Hellman is a stock-holder or Director at InSightec.
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Weichselbaum, R., Hellman, S. Oligometastases revisited. Nat Rev Clin Oncol 8, 378–382 (2011). https://doi.org/10.1038/nrclinonc.2011.44
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