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Dis Colon Rectum. 2001 Apr;44(4):523-33.

Molecular markers are predictors of recurrence and survival in patients with Dukes B and Dukes C colorectal adenocarcinoma.

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Department of Cancer Biology, Cancer Society Ahmedabad, India.



The goal was to investigate the prognostic value of various molecular markers like CEA, Cyclin D1, Bcl-2, c-Myc, p53, p21ras, Ki-67, CD44, Factor VIII-related antigen, cytokeratin-19, adenoma antigen, and prolactin in patients with Dukes B and Dukes C colorectal adenocarcinoma.


These molecular markers were localized immunohistochemically in nonmalignant (n = 36) and malignant (n = 98) diseases of the colorectum. Data were analyzed statistically using the SPSS software program. The patients with colorectal cancer were followed for a period of five years or their death within that period.


The expression of carcinoembryonic antigen, Cyclin D1, Bcl-2, CD44, cytokeratin-19 and prolactin was significantly higher in malignant diseases (P < 0.05), whereas, p21ras was found to be significantly higher in nonmalignant diseases (P = 0.002) as compared with their respective counterparts. Besides Dukes stage, multivariate analysis indicated a significantly reduced relapse-free survival in patients expressing CD44 and cytokeratin-19 (P < 0.005). Similarly, besides Dukes stage, multivariate analysis indicated a significantly poor overall survival in patients expressing CD44, cytokeratin-19 and prolactin (P < 0.01). In patients with Dukes B disease, only cytokeratin-19 and CD44 expression attained statistical significance (P < 0.05), whereas in patients with Dukes C disease, CD44, p21ras- and c-Myc expression attained statistical significance (P < 0.018). Also, a multivariate analysis in relation to treatment given was performed using CD44 and cytokeratin-19.


Besides Dukes stage, multivariate analysis of all the studied molecular markers showed that patients expressing CD44 and cytokeratin-19 had a significantly reduced relapse-free and poor overall survival. Moreover, patients expressing both these markers (CD44 and cytokeratin-19) had the lowest significant relative risk for developing recurrence than patients with both markers negative when treated with surgery followed by adjuvant chemotherapy as compared with patients treated with surgery alone. Thus, in patients with colorectal cancer, immunohistochemical localization of CD44 and cytokeratin-19 may be included as a part of routine pathologic evaluation along with conventional prognostic factors.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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