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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Impact of cytokeratin-20 and carcinoembryonic antigen mRNA detection by RT-PCR in regional lymph nodes of patients with colorectal cancer.

The reported rates for tumour cell involvement in the locoregional lymph nodes of colorectal cancer vary greatly, depending on the method used and case selection. In order to further evaluate the clinical value of molecular biologic detection of tumour cells we investigated 102 histologically tumour-free (pN0) regional lymph nodes from 51 consecutive, completely resected (UICC R0) colorectal carcinoma specimens for the presence of tumour cell mRNA by RT-PCR specific for carcinoembryonic antigen ( CEA) and cytokeratin 20 (CK-20). Two lymph nodes located nearest to the primary tumour were investigated in each case. CK-20 mRNA was found in 31 of 51 patients (60.8%) and CEA mRNA in 30 of 51 patients (58.8%), respectively. Identical transcription patterns of CK-20 and CEA mRNA (both positive or both negative) were found in 38 of 51 patients (74.5%). There was a significantly higher proportion of cases with CEA positivity in the lymph nodes of tubulopapillary than of mucinous adenocarcinomas (P< 0.03). Detection of CK-20 and CEA mRNA correlated in nine of 12 cases (75.0%) with the risk of tumour recurrence (not significant) and showed a tendency towards shorter disease-free survival by univariate analysis (not significant). Our data indicate that CK-20 and CEA mRNA detection by RT-PCR may prove useful for the prediction of tumour recurrence of patients with pN0 colorectal carcinoma, although neither reach statistical significance in this series of patients.[1]


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