We describe a novel method for detecting micrometastasis in the blood stream of cancer patients based on RT-PCR amplification of tumor-associated carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) mRNA. To increase sensitivity and specificity of RT-PCR, CEA transcript was selectively up-regulated in cancer cells by exposure of peripheral blood to non-toxic concentrations of staurosporine (ST). Thereafter, polyA(+) RNA was extracted from tumor cells captured by means of magnetic beads coated with a monoclonal antibody against a common human epithelial antigen. Finally, RNA was subjected to RT-PCR analysis of CEA transcript. Using this approach, we demonstrated an ST-mediated increase in CEA transcript in blood specimens collected from a patient with metastatic colon cancer before receiving treatment with 5-fluorouracil/leucovorin. After a few cycles of chemotherapy, CEA-positive tumor cells were no longer detected. Clinical follow-up of this patient indicated that treatment with chemotherapy induced a dramatic reduction in liver metastasis. Therefore, it can be hypothesized that lack of CEA transcript detection might be consistent with disappearance or at least marked reduction of circulating tumor cells.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||Journal of Chemotherapy|
|Publication status||Published - Aug 2002|
- Immunomagnetic isolation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)
- Microbiology (medical)