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The relevance of RT–PCR markers for metastatic tumour cell detection

Authors
Journal
British Journal of Cancer
0007-0920
Publisher
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjc.6603131
Keywords
  • Letters To The Editor
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

Letter to the Editor The relevance of RT–PCR markers for metastatic tumour cell detection M Chechlin´ska*,1, M Kowalewska2,3, S Markowicz1 and R Nowak2 1Department of Immunology, The Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Roentgena 5, 02-781 Warsaw, Poland; 2Department of Molecular Biology, The Maria Skłodowska-Curie Memorial Cancer Centre and Institute of Oncology, Roentgena 5, 02-781 Warsaw, Poland; 3Postgraduate School of Molecular Medicine, Warsaw, Poland British Journal of Cancer (2006) 94, 1761. doi:10.1038/sj.bjc.6603131 www.bjcancer.com Published online 2 May 2006 & 2006 Cancer Research UK �� � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � � Sir, In a recently published paper in your journal Nissan et al (2006), following the commonly used definition, described ‘a molecule expressed in all tumour cells but not in normal human tissues’ as an ideal marker for minimal residual disease detection. In numerous studies based on this definition, the expression of markers thought to characterise disseminated cancer cells in the peripheral blood, bone marrow or nodules is analysed against the results obtained in the relevant tissue obtained from healthy donors. We raise an issue that healthy donor tissues are not adequate controls. The same volume of BJC publishes a paper (one of a series) on the association of cancer patients’ outcomes with the inflamma- tion-based prognostic score (Crumley et al, 2006). This and many other studies clearly indicate the presence and importance of a systemic inflammation in cancer patients, implying the very likely presence of activated lymphoid cells in blood, bone marrow or nodules. Yet, this phenomenon is evidently ignored in many studies on disseminated cancer cell RT–PCR detection. As we have shown, many of the so-called tumour markers (squamous-cell carcinoma antigen, epidermal growth factor receptor, mammaglo- bin and small breast epithelial mucin) are expressed in normal peripheral blood lymphocytes following polyclo

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