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Am J Gastroenterol. 1999 Mar;94(3):744-50.

Lectin binding to human colonocytes is predictive of colonic neoplasia.

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Department of Medicine, Womack Army Medical Center, Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, USA.



The aim of this study was to determine whether lectin binding to exfoliated human colonocytes could be used as a noninvasive test for colorectal polyps or cancer.


Colonocytes were harvested from 31 patients (10 controls, 10 with adenomatous polyps, and 11 with cancer), incubated with a panel of fluorescent-labeled lectins, and assayed by flow cytometry.


The lectins jacalin (JAC) and wheat germ agglutinin (WGA) were useful in predicting the presence of a colorectal neoplasm (p = 0.0018 for JAC and p = 0.0099 for WGA). For JAC, sensitivity reached 81% with a specificity of 80%, and for WGA the sensitivity and specificity were both 75%.


Lectin binding to human colonocytes can predict the presence of malignant and premalignant lesions of the colon, and has potential as a noninvasive screening tool for colorectal neoplasms.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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