In this study, we investigated whether (a) carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), cytokeratin-20 (CK-20) and guanylyl cyclase C (GCC) are clinically useful markers for the molecular detection of submicroscopic metastases in colorectal cancer (CRC) and (b) whether overexpression of CEA, CK-20 and GCC can be reliably detected in formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissues as well as frozen lymph nodes. We studied 175 frozen lymph nodes and 158 formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded lymph nodes from 28 cases of CRC. CEA or CK-20 or GCC-specific polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was carried out on mRNA transcripts extracted from the nodal tissues. Ten out of I I Dukes' B CRC cases had detectable CEA and CK-20 while 6 out of 11 Dukes' B CRC cases had detectable GCC. In general, the difference of re-staged cases when comparing frozen and paraffin-embedded samples was marked; the only statistically significant correlation between frozen and paraffin tissue was for the CEA marker. Our results indicated a high incidence (>50%) of detecting micrometastases in histologically-negative lymph nodes at the molecular level. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research