Six years ago Cole, Packard, and Southwick1 reported finding cancer cells in fluid perfused through the artery and collected from the vein of a cancerous segment of colon removed at operation. Other investigators have reported finding cancer cells in the circulating blood. In a recent study2 of 328 patients with malignant disease, cancer cells were found in the peripheral blood in 23% of the "curable" cases and in 33% of the "incurable" cases, in some before, in some during, and in some after operation.
These investigators saw showers of cancer cells in blood specimens in some cases incident to manipulation of the tumor by such means as pelvic physical examination, dilation and curettage, preparation of the skin prior to operation for cancer of the breast, application of a pedicle clamp, and dissection about the tumor.
Moore, Sandberg, and Watne3 recently reported a study of 179 patients with
CANCER CELLS IN THE BLOOD STREAM. JAMA. 1960;173(1):61. doi:10.1001/jama.1960.03020190063018