Quantification of plasma beta-catenin mRNA in colorectal cancer and adenoma patients

Clin Cancer Res. 2004 Mar 1;10(5):1613-7. doi: 10.1158/1078-0432.ccr-1168-3.


Purpose: Colorectal cancer is an important cause of cancer deaths. Here, we focused our investigation on the beta-catenin gene which is implicated in colorectal carcinogenesis and tested whether beta-catenin mRNA is detectable in the plasma of colorectal carcinoma and adenoma patients using quantitative reverse transcriptase-PCR.

Experimental design: Plasma beta-catenin mRNA was measured from 58 colorectal carcinoma patients, 49 colorectal adenoma patients, and 43 apparently normal subjects using intron-spanning primers and Taqman probes. Five clinicopathological parameters were studied and correlated with plasma beta-catenin mRNA concentration. Additionally, 19 colorectal carcinoma patients after tumor removal were also recruited for plasma beta-catenin mRNA measurement to further demonstrate the clinical usefulness of this test.

Results: beta-catenin mRNA was detected with median concentrations of 8737 (range: 1480-933100), 1218 (range: 541-2254) and 291 (range: 0-1366) copies/ml plasma in colorectal carcinoma, colorectal adenoma, and apparently normal subjects, respectively. Statistical analysis demonstrated that plasma beta-catenin mRNA concentration was correlated to tumor stage but not sex, age, lymph node status, and degree in differentiation. Moreover, plasma beta-catenin mRNA concentration decreased significantly after tumor removal in 16 of 19 (84%) colorectal carcinoma patients.

Conclusions: We conclude that plasma beta-catenin mRNA may potentially serve as a marker for colorectal cancer.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / blood
  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Base Sequence
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / blood
  • Colorectal Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / blood
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins / genetics*
  • DNA Primers
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • RNA, Messenger / blood
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Reference Values
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Trans-Activators / blood
  • Trans-Activators / genetics*
  • beta Catenin


  • CTNNB1 protein, human
  • Cytoskeletal Proteins
  • DNA Primers
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Trans-Activators
  • beta Catenin