Publications (2)36.24 Total impact
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ABSTRACT: To examine the utility of guanylyl cyclase C (GC-C)-specific nested reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) to detect circulating tumor cells in patients with colorectal cancer. Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from 24 patients with Dukes' stage D colorectal cancer were analyzed by GC-C-specific nested RT-PCR using 1 microg of total RNA. Peripheral-blood mononuclear cells from 20 healthy volunteers served as controls. Additionally, peripheral-blood CD34+ progenitor cells were assayed for the expression of both GC-C and other epithelial cell-specific markers. GC-C mRNA was detected in blood mononuclear cells from all 24 patients with colorectal cancer and all healthy volunteers. These unexpected positive results reflected low-level ectopic transcription of GC-C in CD34+ progenitor cells. Moreover, CD34+ progenitor cells expressed other epithelial cell-specific markers, including prostate-specific antigen, prostate-specific membrane antigen, carcinoembryonic antigen, CK-19, CK-20, mucin 1, and GA733.2. Limiting the quantity of mononuclear cell total RNA analyzed to < or = 0.8 microg eliminated detection of GC-C and other tissue-specific transcripts in blood of healthy volunteers. However, under the same conditions, GC-C mRNA was detected in mononuclear cells from all 24 patients with metastatic colorectal cancer. Using 0.5 microg of total RNA and GC-C-specific primers, nested RT-PCR detected a single human colon carcinoma cell (approximately 20 to 200 GC-C transcripts/cell) in 10(6) to 10(7) mononuclear blood cells. These data suggest that GC-C may be useful for detecting circulating colorectal cancer cells. They also demonstrate that CD34+ cells are a source of ectopically expressed epithelial cell-specific markers and that CD34+ cells may contribute to the high false-positive rate generally observed when those markers are used to detect rare circulating metastatic cancer cells by RT-PCR.
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ABSTRACT: Patients with stage II colorectal cancer and no histologic evidence of lymph node invasion develop recurrent disease, presumably because of undetected micrometastases. Guanylyl cyclase C is expressed by intestinal and colorectal cancer cells but not by extraintestinal tissues or tumors. To examine the expression of guanylyl cyclase C messenger RNA (mRNA) in lymph nodes of patients with node-negative colorectal cancer who did and did not have recurrent disease. Case-control study. Tertiary care academic medical center. Paraffin-embedded lymph nodes were obtained from 21 patients with histologically confirmed node-negative colorectal cancer who had undergone resection. Controls included 11 patients without disease recurrence 6 or more years after resection, and case-patients included 10 patients whose disease recurred up to 3 years after resection. Sections of paraffin-embedded lymph nodes were obtained from each patient and were pooled, and their RNA was analyzed by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR). Guanylyl cyclase C mRNA was expressed in lymph nodes from all patients with recurrent disease but not in those from patients without recurrent disease (P = 0.004). Nested RT-PCR that used primers for carcinoembryonic antigen, a marker for colorectal cancer, identified carcinoembryonic antigen mRNA in lymph nodes from only 1 of 10 patients with recurrent disease and those from 0 of 11 patients without recurrent disease. The odds ratio for death associated with expression of guanylyl cyclase C mRNA in regional lymph nodes was 15.0 (95% CI, 1.1 to 756.7). Expression of guanylyl cyclase C mRNA in lymph nodes is associated with recurrence of colorectal cancer in patients with stage II disease. Analysis of guanylyl cyclase mRNA expression by RT-PCR may be useful for colorectal cancer staging.