Growth potential of human colorectal carcinomas in nude mice: Association with the preoperative serum concentration of carcinoembryonic antigen in patients

J. M. Jessup, R. Giavazzi, D. Campbell, K. Cleary, K. Morikawa, I. J. Fidler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A preoperative serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) concentration greater than 5 ng/ml portends a poor prognosis for patients with colorectal carcinioma. The purpose of this study was to determine if the tumorigenicity of colorectal carcinomas in nude mice was associated with the preoperative serum CEA concentration. Neoplasms from 53 patients were either implanted as fragments or dissociated with collagenase and DNase, and 3 x 106 viable cells were injected into the flanks of BALB/c nude mice. The growth potential of tumors resected from patients with CEA levels exceeding 5 ng/ml was greater than that of tumors from patients with normal serum CEA: 26 of 33 carcinomas from patients with CEA ≥ 5 ng/ml were tumorigenic in nude mice, whereas only 8 of 22 neoplasms from patients with normal serum CEA were tumorigenic in nude mice (P <0.001). Primary colorectal cancers, not metastases, were the basis for the association between tumorigenicity and preoperative CEA. Tumorigenicity was also associated with stage of disease, since Dukes' D primary tumors and metastases were more tumorigenic than Dukes' A to C primary tumors. Growth in nude mice was not associated with other prognostic factors such as tumor site, mucin production, local invasion, or stage of histological differentiation. The tumorigenic capability of human colorectal carcinomas may be associated with the preoperative serum CEA concentration and may reflect an increased potential to develop clinical metastases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1689-1692
Number of pages4
JournalCancer Research
Volume48
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

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