Differential expression of a new tumor-associated antigen, TLP, during human colorectal cancer tumorigenesis

Fiorella Guadagni, Paolo Graziano, Mario Roselli, Sabrina Mariotti, Paola Bernard, Paola Sinibaldi-Vallebona, Guido Rasi, Enrico Garaci

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Tumour liberated particles (TLP) have been proposed as a potential new serum tumor marker. In particular, a high percentage of patients with early stages of lung cancer scored positive for serum TLP, suggesting its possible role as a marker for early diagnosis of disease. The aim of the present study was to analyze the expression of TLP in the colorectal adenoma-carcinoma sequence in order to determine whether its expression correlates with the various stages of cancer transformation. TLP distribution was assessed by immunohistochemistry in normal, premalignant, and malignant colorectal lesions. Normal colonic mucosa and hyperplastic polyps showed no positive staining, whereas adenomas and adenocarcinomas reacted to anti-TLP serum. The percentage of positive tumor cells increased from adenomas with mild dysplasia to adenomas with severe dysplasia. Moreover, a supranuclear staining pattern was observed mainly in adenomas with mild dysplasia, whereas adenomas with severe dysplasia as well as adenocarcinomas showed a characteristic diffuse staining pattern and a strong staining intensity. Only a few cases of adenocarcinoma were found to be TLP-negative and all were poorly differentiated. Our results suggest that TLP antigen expression may be considered as a marker of epithelial atypia in the colorectal tract and as a potential target for new diagnostic and/or therapeutic approaches to human colorectal cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)993-999
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Pathology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine


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