Korean J Gastroenterol.  2017 Apr;69(4):220-225. 10.4166/kjg.2017.69.4.220.

The Detection of Messenger RNA for Carcinoembryonic Antigen and Cytokeratin 20 in Peritoneal Washing Fluid in Patients with Advanced Gastric Cancer

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, St. Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon, Korea. jwchulkr@catholic.ac.kr
  • 2Department of Surgery, St. Vincent's Hospital, The Catholic University of Korea, Suwon, Korea.


Peritoneal micrometastasis is known to play an important role in the recurrence of gastric cancer. However, its effects remain equivocal. Herein, we examine the messenger RNA (mRNA) as tumor markers, carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), and cytokeratin 20 (CK20), in peritoneal washing fluid. Moreover, we evaluate whether these results could predict the recurrence of gastric cancer following curative resection.
We prospectively enrolled 132 patients with gastric cancers, who had received an operation, between January 2010 and January 2013. The peritoneal lavage fluid was collected at the operation field and semi-quantitative PCR was performed using the primers for CEA and CK20. We excluded patients with stage IA (n=28) early gastric cancer, positive cytologic examination of peritoneal washings (n=7), and those who were lost during follow up (n=18).
A total of 79 patients with gastric cancers were enrolled, and the mean follow-up period was 39.95±19.25 months (range, 5-72 months). According to the multivariate analysis, T4 stage at the initial diagnosis was significantly associated with recurrence. All cases of recurrence were CEA positive and 6 cases were CK20 positive. The positive and negative predictive values of CEA were 32.0% and 100%, respectively, whereas those of CK20 were 37.5% and 71.4%, respectively. Disease free survival of CK20-negative cases was 36.17±20.28 months and that of CK20-positive cases was 32.06±22.95 months (p=0.39).
It is unlikely that the real time polymerase chain reaction results of mRNA for CEA and CK20 in peritoneal washing fluid can predict recurrence. However, negative results can convince surgeons to perform curative R0 resection.


Gastric cancer; Micrometastasis; Carcinoembryonic antigen; Keratin-20
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