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Large-bowel carcinomas with different ploidy, related to secretory component, IgA, and CEA in epithelium and plasma.

British Journal of Cancer
Nature Publishing Group
Publication Date
  • Research Article


Immunofluorescence staining for carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), secretory component (SC), and epithelial IgA was evaluated semiquantitatively in 85 large-bowel carcinomas in relation to degree of tumour differentiation, Dukes' stage, and plasma CEA level. The tumours were divided into a near-diploid (ND, 28) and an aneuploid group (AN, 57) by means of flow-cytometric DNA measurements. Expression of SC and IgA in neoplastic epithelium was positively related to differentiation in both groups. The AN tumours scored significantly higher for CEA than the ND ones, but the staining was apparently unrelated to differentiation or Dukes' stage. CEA expression in the transitional mucosa adjacent to ND tumours was negatively correlated with tumour differentiation, whereas epithelial IgA and SC in this zone showed a substantially higher positive correlation with tumour differentiation, and a somewhat stronger negative correlation with Dukes' stage in the ND than in the AN group. Plasma CEA levels were significantly related to Dukes' stage, only in patients with AN tumours, and only in this group were positively correlated with estimates of total tumour CEA for Dukes' stages A and B. For Dukes' stages C and D (disseminated tumours), moreover, the plasma CEA levels were found to be significantly higher in the AN group. These findings indicate that the DNA profile of large-bowel carcinomas is related both to the way neoplastic cells influence the activity of the transitional mucosa and their capacity for expression and release of epithelial products. AN tumours thus seem to be more active as "secretors" of CEA than ND ones. Images Fig. 3 Fig. 4 Fig. 5

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