Background: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is one of the leading causes of malignant death worldwide. Because young age of onset is often considered a poor prognostic factor for CRC, it is important to identify the poor outcomes of CRC in a younger population and to consider an aggressive approach by implementing early treatment. Our aim was to specifically quantify the fecal cytokeratin 19 (CK19) transcript from CRC patients and investigate its correlation with clinical stage, tumor malignancy, and age. Methods: The quantitation of fecal CK19 transcript was determined by a quantitative real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain in 129 CRC patients (45 younger than 60 years at diagnosis) and 85 healthy controls. The levels of CK19 protein were examined both in colonic cell lines and tissues. Results: The analysis of 45 younger CRC patients (age ≤ 60 years) revealed that patients at the M1 stage had significantly higher expression levels of fecal CK19 mRNA when compared with healthy controls (p <0.001) and patients at the M0 stage (p = 0.004). Additionally, the degree of consistency between the mean level of fecal CK19 mRNA and the distant metastatic rate in each age interval was up to 89% (p = 0.042). Conclusion: These results indicate that high levels of fecal CK19 mRNA represent a potential marker for colorectal malignancy and for aggressive treatment of younger CRC patients.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cancer Research