Clinical evaluation of serum tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 as a novel tumor marker for colorectal cancer patients

F. Guadagni, M. Roselli, T. Amato, M. Cosimelli, E. Mannella, M. Tedesco, A. Grassi, V. Casale, F. Cavaliere, J. W. Greiner, J. Schlom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A novel tumor marker, tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 (TAG-72), has been identified using monoclonal antibody (MAb) B72.3. Using immunohistochemical techniques, TAG-72 has been found in carcinomas of various origin including colon, stomach, breast, lung, prostate, and ovary, as well as in body fluids. The presence of TAG-72 in serum samples from 260 patients with colorectal disease (malignant or benign) has been evaluated using the CA72-4 assay. Approximately 40% of patients with colorectal cancer exhibit elevated levels of this marker; moreover, the presence of positive levels of TAG-72 significantly correlates with advanced stages of disease, suggesting that TAG-72 may be a good marker of advanced colorectal cancer. Only 2% of the patients diagnosed with colorectal disease had elevated TAG-72 serum levels indicating the high specificity of this marker. A comparative study with carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) serum levels showed a complementarity of the two tumor markers; in fact, 49.6% of CEA negative cases scored positive for TAG-72. A longitudinal evaluation of TAG-72 serum levels in 31 patients with malignant disease was performed. The results indicate that patients with increasing TAG-72 serum levels postoperatively may be indicative of recurrent disease. In 60% of patients in which significant changes of CEA levels could not be detected, TAG-72 showed rising positive levels prior to clinical evidence of recurrent disease. These results suggest that the simultaneous use of TAG-72 and CEA serum markers may be useful in the diagnosis of recurrent disease and therefore play an important role in the clinical management of cancer patients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Surgical Oncology
Issue numberSUPPL. 2
Publication statusPublished - 1991


  • CA72-4 assay
  • colorectal cancer
  • monoclonal antibodies
  • tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oncology


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