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Cellular Oncology
Volume 28 (2006), Issue 4, Pages 141-150

Detection of Tumor Cells in Bone Marrow, Peripheral Blood and Lymph Nodes by Automated Imaging Devices

Wilma E. Mesker,1 Hans Vrolijk,1 Willem C. R. Sloos,1 Rob A. E. M. Tollenaar,2 and Hans J. Tanke1

1Department of Molecular Cell Biology, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden, The Netherlands
2Department of Surgery, Leiden University Medical Center (LUMC), Leiden, The Netherlands

Copyright © 2006 Hindawi Publishing Corporation and the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The presence of tumor cells in bone marrow, peripheral blood and lymph nodes has proven its clinical and prognostic value. Since the frequency of these cells in bone marrow and blood is sometimes as low as 1 per million and due to the fact that for the analysis of lymph nodes many sectioning levels have to be analyzed, automated imaging devices have been suggested as an useful alternative to conventional manual screening of specimens. The aim of this paper is to review the performance of current equipment that is commercially available, based on literature published so far. Requirements for introducing this equipment for routine clinical practice are discussed.