• M Saad Ismail
  • W Wynendaele
  • J L E Aerts
  • R Paridaens
  • L Van Mellaert
  • J Anné
  • R Gaafar
  • N Shakankiry
  • H M Khaled
  • M R Christiaens
  • S Omar
  • P Vandekerckhove
  • A T Van Oosterom

BACKGROUND: We previously developed a real-time quantitative RT-PCR technique to detect breast carcinoma cells in peripheral blood (PB). The aim of the current study was to improve cytokeratin 19 (CK19) quantification using plasmid dilutions of cloned PCR fragments to obtain a more reliable and reproducible quantification of CK19 transcripts.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: PB samples of 14 stage IV breast cancer patients and 23 healthy controls were examined with RT-PCR using plasmid quantification.

RESULTS: Median CK19+ copy numbers of one and 11 were detected in the control group and stage IV breast cancer patients, respectively (Mann-Whitney, P </=0.0001). When comparing the results obtained using cell line dilutions with those obtained using plasmid dilutions, a good correlation was observed (r(2) = 0.98).

CONCLUSIONS: Plasmid dilutions are more reliable than cell line dilutions for quantification of gene expression, and more objective criteria for positivity could be defined based on the characteristics of the standard curve (slope and intercept). A more universally accepted agreement on the definition of the cut-off value for positivity is needed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1241-1245
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2003

    Research areas

  • Breast Neoplasms/pathology, Case-Control Studies, Confidence Intervals, Female, Humans, Indicator Dilution Techniques, Keratins/analysis, Neoplasm Invasiveness/pathology, Neoplastic Cells, Circulating/pathology, Plasmids, Probability, Prospective Studies, Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction/methods, Sensitivity and Specificity, Statistics, Nonparametric, Tumor Cells, Cultured

ID: 47097210