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Breast Cancer Research and Treatment

, Volume 60, Issue 2, pp 143–151 | Cite as

RT-PCR amplification of CK19 mRNA in the blood of breast cancer patients: correlation with established prognostic parameters

  • Harriette J. Kahn
  • Lu-Ying Yang
  • John Blondal
  • Lavina Lickley
  • Claire Holloway
  • Wedad Hanna
  • Steven Narod
  • David R. McCready
  • Arun Seth
  • Alexander Marks
  • Alexander Marks
Article

Abstract

We optimized the assay for detection of cytokeratin 19 (CK19) mRNA by the reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in blood as an index of circulating tumor cells in breast cancer patients. The limit of detection of <1 MCF7 tumor cells per 106 peripheral blood leukocytes (PBL) was achieved in mixing experiments. We did not detect CKl9 mRNA in control bloods (0/30) or in the blood of patients with benign breast disease (0/15). In blood samples from 109 patients with invasive breast cancer, CK19 mRNA was detected in 7/23 patients with node-negative disease, in 21/58 with node-positive disease, and in 20/28 with distant metastases. There was a significant association (P<0.01) of CK19 positivity with distant metastatic versus both node-negative and node-positive disease, but not with any other histopathological parameter examined. In a small number of patients with distant metastases, increased intensity of the CK19 RT-PCR signal was associated with a reduced survival.

breast cancer; cytokeratin 19 (CK19) mRNA reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction(RT-PCR) circulating tumor cells 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Harriette J. Kahn
    • 1
  • Lu-Ying Yang
    • 1
  • John Blondal
    • 2
  • Lavina Lickley
    • 3
  • Claire Holloway
    • 3
  • Wedad Hanna
    • 1
  • Steven Narod
    • 2
  • David R. McCready
    • 3
  • Arun Seth
    • 1
  • Alexander Marks
    • 1
  • Alexander Marks
    • 4
  1. 1.Departments of PathologySunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre (SWCHSC), Women's College CampusTorontoCanada
  2. 2.Depatments of MedicineSunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre (SWCHSC), Women's College CampusTorontoCanada
  3. 3.Depatments of SurgerySunnybrook and Women's College Health Sciences Centre (SWCHSC), Women's College CampusTorontoCanada
  4. 4.Banting and Best Department of Medical ResearchUniversity of TorontoTorontoCanada

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