Diagnosis of oligometastasis

Mayako Terao, Naoki Niikura


Metastatic breast cancer (MBC) is generally considered incurable. However, MBC which has limited number and sites of metastasis: oligometastatic breast cancer (OMBC) may have definitive remission with individualized, metastasis-directed ablative therapies and multidisciplinary management, such as surgery and radiotherapy. Earlier detection of primary metastatic breast cancer using accurate imaging technologies may allow the initiation of therapy for OMBC. In breast cancer, the lymph nodes, liver, bone, lung, and brain are common sites of metastasis. Additional studies are recommended if signs or symptoms indicate metastasis. The imaging modality should be selected for suspicious locations or original metastatic regions. The standard staging studies are ultrasonography for lymph node metastasis, abdominal and/or pelvic contrast-enhanced CT for liver metastasis, chest CT for pulmonary metastasis, and bone scan for bone metastasis. FDG-PET/CT may be helpful for bone or liver metastasis. MRI may be considered for liver, soft tissue, or brain metastasis.

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