Correlation between tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 mucin levels in tumor and serum of colorectal patients as measured by the quantitative CA 72- 4 immunoassay

Fiorella Guadagni, Mario Roselli, Maurizio Cosimelli, Antonella Spila, Francesco Cavaliere, Manfredo Tedesco, Raffaella Arcuri, Maria Rosaria Abbolito, Vincenzo Casale, Maria Nicoletta Pericoli, Aldo Vecchione, Carlo U. Casciani, John W. Greiner, Jeffrey Schlom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Colorectal tissue biopsies were obtained from 110 patients diagnosed with primary colorectal carcinoma (tumor and normal colonic mucosa samples), 20 patients diagnosed with benign colorectal disease, and 31 healthy donors. The level of expression of tumor-associated glycoprotein 72 (TAG-72) was quantitatively measured in each sample using a double-determinant RIA with monoclonal antibodies B72.3 and CC49 and detecting the sialyl-Tn epitope; this assay was termed CA 72-4. Statistical analysis revealed a significant (approximately 10-fold) increase of TAG-72 expression in the colon tumor biopsies when compared with the expression in normal colonic mucosa from the same patients. A regression analysis revealed a significant correlation (r = 0.459; P <0.001) between TAG-72 levels measured in biopsies from the tumor lesions and those found in the corresponding normal colonic mucosa. Furthermore, regression analysis showed a significant positive correlation between TAG-72 levels in the tumors and sera of the same patients (r = 0.491; P <0.001). TAG-72 levels in normal colonic mucosa from healthy donors and patients diagnosed with colorectal cancer were compared. TAG-72 expression was 5-fold higher in the normal mucosa from the colorectal carcinoma patients. No relationship between TAG-72 tumor tissue content and stage of disease was found. Moreover, the correlation between TAG-72 distribution and degree of tumor differentiation observed (P <0.05) was not any more evident when mucinous carcinomas were excluded. Finally, the results provide further evidence that TAG-72 may be considered an important early marker for colorectal cancer and/or other dysplastic colonic diseases. The statistical correlation between TAG-72 levels in tumors and circulating TAG-72 indicates that patients with elevated levels of serum TAG-72, as measured by the CA 72- 4 assay, would be most suited for diagnostic and/or therapeutic intervention with the anti-TAG-72 monoclonal antibodies B72.3 or CC49 or vaccine trials using the sialyl-Tn epitope.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5293-5298
Number of pages6
JournalCancer Research
Issue number22
Publication statusPublished - Nov 15 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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