Genetic changes and clonality relationship between primary colorectal cancers and their pulmonary metastases - An analysis by comparative genomic hybridization

Jeng Kai Jiang, Yann Jang Chen*, Chi Hung Lin, I. Ting Yu, Jen Kou Lin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Scopus citations


About 10% of colorectal carcinoma patients develop pulmonary metastases during their lifetime. We address whether and how the chromosomal abnormalities differ between the primary cancers and their metastatic counterparts, what the clonality relationship (CR) is between them, and whether certain genomic aberrations contribute to this disease progression. Comparative genomic hybridization (CGH) experiments were performed on 18 paired samples of primary and pulmonary metastases obtained from patients who had undergone two consecutive surgeries and from whom clinical data had been collected. The CGH profiles also were used as indexes for determining the CR between the cancers. The overall CGH abnormality profiles were similar for the primary colorectal carcinomas and their pulmonary metastases. Frequent gains were found on chromosome arms 20q, 8q, 13q, and 7q, whereas common losses were found on 18q, 8p, and 18p. The pulmonary metastases, however, contained more CGH abnormalities than did the primary carcinomas (total aberration events per tumor: 12.6 ± 5.0 vs. 8.3 ± 5.7, respectively, P = 0.024; gains: 7.6 ± 3.1 vs. 5.1 ± 3.5, respectively, P = 0.036; losses: 5.0 ± 2.8 vs. 3.3 ± 2.9, respectively, P = 0.076). Comparing CGH profiles between individual primary and metastasis pairs, we found that 10 of the 18 (56%) paired samples examined exhibited a high degree of CR, indicating that they were likely to have originated from the same clone and/or that not many additional chromosomal changes had occurred in the metastases, except for 4q loss, whose incidence was much higher in the metastases than in the primaries (60% vs. 10%; P = 0.030). Also, the primary tumors of the high-CR group carried more genomic aberrations, especially 8p loss, than did the primary tumors in the low-CR group. We found more chromosomal changes associated with the pulmonary metastases of colorectal cancer compared with the corresponding primary tumors. We concluded that primary cancers containing more genomic lesions, especially 8p losses, are more likely to metastasize to the lungs. Loss of 4q is potentially a supplementary factor contributing to the dissemination of this disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-36
Number of pages12
JournalGenes Chromosomes and Cancer
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 2005


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