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Revista médica de Chile

versión impresa ISSN 0034-9887


ROA S, Juan C et al. Detection of bone marrow micrometastases in patients with gallbladder cancer. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2004, vol.132, n.12, pp.1489-1498. ISSN 0034-9887.

Background: There is a very strong documented correlation between the appearance of cancer cells in blood and occurrence of metastasis in gastrointestinal cancer. Aim: To determine MUC1, CK19, CK20 and CEA mRNA expression in bone marrow of patients with gallbladder cancer and evaluate its clinical significance. Material and methods: Sixty eight samples were analyzed, 38 bone marrow samples of gallbladder cancer patients, 20 healthy donors, and 10 frozen samples of gallbladder cancer. Nested reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (nested RT-PCR) was used to analyze mRNA expression. Results: All frozen tumors were positive for CEA, CK19, and MUC1 mRNA and 70% were positive for CK20. Seventeen of 20 donor samples were positive for MUC1 and only one sample from donors was positive for both CK20 and CK19 mRNA. Among the 38 blood and bone marrow samples of gallbladder cancer patients, the expression of MUC1, CK19, CK20, and CEA, mRNA was 60.5% (23/38), 31.6% (12/38), 7.9% (3/38), and 7.9% (3/38), respectively. Disregarding the MUC1 results. 37% (14/38), 13% (5/38) and 5% (2/38) were positive for one, two and three markers respectively. Not significant differences were found in survival with a follow up to 12 months. Conclusion: Our results indicate that the molecular detection of tumor cells in bone marrow in patients with gallbladder carcinoma is technically possible, being CEA, CK19 and CK20 gene expression the best markers. The MUC1 gene expression marker was highly unspecific and it should not been considered. The detection of bone marrow micrometastasis might be helpful in prognosis and the selection of clinical treatment but a larger series with a longer follow-up should be studied (Rev Méd Chile 2004; 132: 1489-98).

Palabras clave : Carcinoembryonic antigen; Gallbladder neoplasms; MUC1 gene product; Neoplasm metastasis.

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