, Volume 28, Issue 7, pp 701-706

Detection of carcinoembryonic antigen mRNA in the mesenteric vein of patients with resectable colorectal cancer

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Abstract

The detection of tumor cells in the drainage venous blood of patients with colorectal cancer was made feasible by demonstrating carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) mRNA in the mononuclear cell component of the blood, using a nested reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction. CEA mRNA was detected in the drainage venous blood from 11 (42%) of 26 patients, and the rate of detection increased according to the grade of vessel invasion. CEA mRNA was detected in all patients with synchronous liver metastases, even though there was no significant correlation between the presence of CEA mRNA in the drainage venous blood and the clinicopathological findings. As the presence of CEA mRNA in the drainage venous blood is an indicator of the spread of tumor cells in patients with colorectal cancer, this assay can be used to assess the possible outcome of patients with colorectal cancer, providing one more tool for the physician-oncologist to use in designing appropriate treatments.