Author(s): Mitsuhashi A, Tanaka N, Suzuka K, Matsui H, Seki K,
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Abstract OBJECTIVE: Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) has been reported to be expressed by immunohistochemistry in invasive cervical cancers. We evaluated the feasibility of detecting EGFR mRNA by EGFR-based reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in peripheral blood of patients with cervical cancer. METHODS: Expression of EGFR mRNA, cytokeratin (CK)-19 mRNA, and CK-20 mRNA was examined by RT-PCR in 12 human cervical cancer cell lines. All 12 cell lines expressed both EGFR mRNA and CK-19 mRNA, but only 4 of 12 (33.3\%) cell lines expressed CK-20 mRNA. Peripheral blood samples from 20 healthy donors and 45 cervical cancer patients were also examined. RESULTS: In peripheral blood from 20 healthy donors, neither EGFR mRNA nor CK-20 mRNA was expressed, but CK-19 mRNA was expressed in 13 of 20 (65\%). In contrast, EGFR mRNA was expressed in 12 of 45 (26.7\%) patients with cervical cancer (P = 0.0071, 2 test, patient vs control). On the other hand, expression of EGFR was observed in 98\% of tumor tissues by immunohistochemistry. CK-19 mRNA and CK-20 mRNA were found in 35 of 45 (77.8\%) and 0 of 45 (0\%) patients, respectively (NS, chi(2) test, patient vs control). The rate of detection of EGFR mRNA in peripheral blood correlated with FIGO stage (P = 0.049). CONCLUSION: Both CK-19 mRNA and CK-20 mRNA showed no diagnostic value as markers of circulating tumor cells in cervical cancers. However, EGFR mRNA in blood might be a useful marker of circulating tumor cells in cervical cancers.
This article was published in Gynecol Oncol
and referenced in Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy