Oncology| Volume 157, ISSUE 2, P322-330, February 2015

Detection of carcinoembryonic antigen mRNA in peritoneal lavage by the transcription-reverse transcription concerted method indicates poor prognosis in patients with stage II and III colon cancer

Published:October 10, 2014DOI:


      Peritoneal dissemination and positive peritoneal lavage cytology are associated with poor prognosis in colorectal cancer. Carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) messenger RNA (mRNA) is often used as a marker to detect micrometastases. We aimed to evaluate the prognostic significance of CEA mRNA in the peritoneal lavage of colon cancer patients.


      Colon cancer patients (n = 201) who underwent curative operative resection between August 2009 and February 2013 were enrolled. CEA mRNA in peritoneal lavage was measured using the transcription-reverse transcription concerted method, a quantitative RNA amplification method. The correlation between CEA mRNA and overall and peritoneal recurrence-free survival was evaluated.


      Positive CEA mRNA in peritoneal lavage was an independent risk factor for overall recurrence-free survival in colon cancer (P < .0001). Positive CEA mRNA was a risk factor for poorer overall recurrence in stage II and III patients (P = .04 and P = .02, respectively). Moreover, among stage III patients with positive CEA mRNA, the postoperative chemotherapy group had significantly lower overall and peritoneal recurrence rates than the no postoperative chemotherapy group (P = .001).


      Positive CEA mRNA in peritoneal lavage was associated with high overall recurrence rates in stage II and III colon cancer. Further study is necessary to determinate the efficacy of aggressive postoperative chemotherapy for stage II and III colon cancer patients with positive CEA mRNA.
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