Correlation between positive CA 72-4 serum levels and lymph node involvement in patients with gastric carcinoma

F. Guadagni, M. Roselli, M. Cosimelli, P. Ferroni, A. Spila, V. Casaldi, F. Cavaliere, M. Carlini, A. Garofalo, G. Rinaldi, E. Santoro, J. W. Greiner, J. Schlom

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CA 72-4 serum marker has been shown to be one of the most specific and sensitive markers for monitoring gastric cancer. In the present study we evaluated the correlation between CA 72-4, CA 19-9 and CEA serum levels, and tumor size and lymph node involvement in gastric carcinoma patients. One-hundred sixty-one patients with primary or recurrent gastric carcinoma were studied. Elevated CA 72-4, CA 19-9, and CEA serum levels were found in 42.2%, 32.3% and 24.2%, respectively. As previously shown, the combination of CA 72-4 and CA 19-9 increased positive samples to 56.5%, while the addition of CEA did not further improve this percentage. Unlike what has been previously published, none of the markers showed a significant correlation with serosal involvement. In fact, elevated serum levels were observed for the three markers in a very low percentage of cases either in T1-T2N0 or T3-T4N0 patients. In contrast, CA 72-4 showed a highly significant correlation with lymph node involvement: T1-T4N0 patients had positive CA 72-4 levels in 5 out of 37 (13.5%), while T1-T4N1 in 12 out of 32 (37.5%), and T1-T4N2 in 20 out of 40 (50%) (p <0.003). CA 19-9 and CEA serum levels were not significantly correlated. Since the presence of lymph node metastases is considered a negative prognostic factor, these results suggest that the measurement of CA 72-4 serum levels may be an important parameter in the diagnosis and clinical follow-up of patients with gastric carcinoma.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2409-2413
Number of pages5
JournalAnticancer Research
Issue number6 B
Publication statusPublished - 1993


  • Gastric cancer
  • Lymph node and serosal involvement
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Serum tumor markers
  • Tumor-associated glycoprotein-72 CA 72-4 assay

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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