Investigating the Relation between Immunohistochemical Expression of Cytokeratin 20 and Clinicopathological Factors Determining Colorectal Adenocarcinoma Prognosis

Rasoul Rezaei, Parvin Kheradmand, Shahram Bagheri, Esrafil mansouri



Cytokeratins, a family of intermediate filament proteins, are critical components of the cytoskeletal structure in epithelial cells. Among these, cytokeratin 20 (CK20) has garnered substantial attention as a potential biomarker in colorectal cancer (CRC) due to its role in distinguishing various subtypes of gastrointestinal epithelial cells. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the relationship between immunohistochemical expression of CK20 and colorectal adenocarcinoma prognostic factors.

Materials and Methods:

This cross-sectional study included 50 tissue blocks from patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma. Demographic and clinicopathological information was extracted from the patients’ pathology report and recorded in a checklist. Then CK20 expression was examined using immunohistochemistry.


The present study included 50 patients with colorectal adenocarcinoma, including 23 (46%) men and 27 (54%) women, with a mean age of 50±11.2 years. Immunohistochemical expression of the CK20 marker was negative in 15 patients (30%), but 16 patients (32%) and 19 patients (38%) had focal and diffuse positive expression of this marker, respectively. In other words, the expression of this marker was positive in 40 patients (70%). Based on the results of the present study, a significant correlation between clinicopathological features such as tumor grade, lymphovascular invasion, perineural invasion, and lymph node involvement with the expression of the CK20 marker was reported (P<0.05).


 In general, based on the results of the present study, there is a significant association between the expression of CK20 and clinicopathological factors, so it is possible to use the CK20 marker in determining the prognosis of colorectal adenocarcinoma, however, more studies with a larger sample size will be required in the future.


Colorectal adenocarcinoma; CK20; Immunohistochemistry, clinicopathological parameter

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