• Cancer-related antigens;
  • Immunocytochemistry;
  • Adenocarcinoma;
  • Mesothelioma;
  • Mesothelial cells;
  • Cytodiagnosis;
  • Colorectal cancer


Using a commercially available monoclonal antibody (Ks20.1) and the avidin-biotin peroxidase method on cytospins and cell blocks, we analyzed cytokeratin (CK) 20 expression in 169 serous effusions. Cytoplasmic staining was observed in 44/151 malignant fluids. Colon, gastric, and pancreatic adenocarcinomas and mucinous ovarian tumors were most frequently positive. Single cases of transitional-cell and squamous cell carcinomas were reactive as well. Lung and breast cancers were mostly negative. Nonmucinous ovarian tumors were invariably unlabeled as were mesotheliomas and normal mesothelial cells. the study shows that CK 20 is valuable in distinguishing tumor cell origin in effusions. in particular, it identifies a set of carcinomas with the majority arising from the gastrointestinal tract, and represents a highly characteristic marker for colorectal cancer. © 1995 Wiley- Liss, Inc.