Isolated tumor cells and circulating CK20 mRNA in pN0 colorectal cancer patients

Sze Chuen Cesar Wong, Mong Tong Cheung, Brigette Buig Yue Ma, Edwin Pun Hui, Alex Chak Lam Chan, Chi Kin Chan, King Chung Lee, Wah Cheuk, Money Yan Yee Lam, Manson Chi Keung Wong, Charles Ming Lok Chan, John Kwok Cheung Chan, Anthony Tak Cheung Chan

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Micrometastases in lymph nodes and blood may provide important prognostic information. In this study, cytokeratin 20 (CK20) positive cells in lymph nodes and circulating CK20 mRNA were studied using 57 paraffin-embedded lymph node specimens and blood from 24 patients with pN0 colorectal cancer (CRC), respectively. Results showed that 29 out of 56 (52%) lymph node specimens had CK20-positive cells (range: 1-35). Follow-up of the patients for 12 months indicated that 4 patients (7%) had CRC metastases to liver, lung, and bone. In addition, 8 out of 24 (33%) samples had at least 2-fold circulating CK20 mRNA expression higher than the pooled normal sample. This study provides evidence that CK20-positive cells were found in the lymph nodes and differentially expressed circulating CK20 mRNA was also detected in the blood from patients with pN0 CRC. Long-term follow-up is necessary to study their prognostic use in patients with non-metastatic CRC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-126
Number of pages8
JournalInternational Journal of Surgical Pathology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2008
Externally publishedYes


  • CK20
  • CK20 mRNA
  • Colorectal cancer patients
  • Lymph nodes
  • pN0

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Surgery
  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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