CA 19.9, CA 242 and CEA in the diagnosis and follow-up of pancreatic cancer

G. Banfi, S. Bravi, A. Ardemagni, A. Zerbi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The diagnosis of pancreatic cancer is usually made in the advanced stages of the disease when the prognosis is poor. We compared the behavior of CA19.9, CEA and the newly proposed mucin CA242 in a consecutive series of 42 pancreatic carcinomas. A control group was recruited of 21 patients with benign pancreatic diseases. With the recommended cutoffs (37 U/ml for CA19.9, 20 U/ml for CA242 and 8 ng/ml for CEA) we obtained a specificity of 90% for CA19.9 and of 85% for CA242 and CEA. The sensitivity was 85.7% for CA19.9, 73.8% for CA242 and 26.2% for CEA. CA19.9 and CA242 showed identical behavior in various TNM stages of cancer and in stages III and IV of the Hermreck classification. Moreover, CA19.9 and CA242 showed identical behavior in 10 patients monitored during the survival period who developed recurrence of disease. ROC curve evaluation demonstrated that CA242 and CA19.9 were very similar The results of CA242 were better than those of CA19.9 in the false positive range under 10%, whereas CA19.9 had a better performance in the true positive range over 70%. CA242 could be used instead of CA19.9 for diagnosing pancreatic carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)77-81
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Biological Markers
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996


  • CA19.9
  • CA242
  • CEA
  • Pancreatic cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Biochemistry


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