New approaches in the diagnostic procedure of malignant pleural effusions

Daniela Terracciano, Angelina Di Carlo, Paolino Papa, Marcello Cicalese, Pierpaolo Maietta, Ciriaco Cecere, Angela Mariano, Vincenzo Macchia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The content of carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA), carbohydrate antigen 19-9 (Ca 19-9), carbohydrate antigen 15-3 (Ca 15-3) and the expression of Lewis Y related carbohydrate antigens in benign and malignant pleural effusion were determined. These included 35 malignant pleural effusions: 13 breast cancers, 12 lung cancers (6 squamous cell carcinomas, 5 adenocarcinomas and 1 microcytoma), 2 mesotheliomas, 1 epithelioma, 1 kidney cancer, 1 hepatocarcinoma, 1 colon carcinoma, 3 lymphomas, 1 osteosarcoma and 9 benign pleural effusions. We showed that pleural fluid content of CEA, Ca 19-9 and Ca 15-3 were higher in malignant than in benign effusions. However CEA levels in squamous lung cancers were very high in both serum and pleural fluids whereas its levels were only slightly above the cut-off in breast cancers and in lung adenocarcinomas. Serum and pleural fluid Ca 15-3 values were higher in breast and in lung cancers with the highest values in the patients with breast cancer. Furthermore, the LewisY related carbohydrate antigens, evaluated by the reactivity of the cell extracts to MAb B3, were expressed only in breast cancers. These data suggest that pleural fluid content of CEA, and Ca 15-3 associated with the immunoblotting of cell extracts with MAb B3 appear to be very useful to improve the diagnosis of malignant pleural effusions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-83
Number of pages5
JournalOncology Reports
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2004


  • Carbohydrate antigen 15-3
  • Carbohydrate antigen 19-9
  • Carcinoembryonic antigen
  • Lewis carbohydrate antigens
  • Pleural effusions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology


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