Serum carcinoembryonic antigen in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer: Influence of tumour spread, liver impairment, and age

D. Basso, C. Fabris, G. Del Favero, C. Angonese, T. Meggiato, A. Infantino, M. Plebani, A. Piccoli, G. Leandro, A. Burlina, R. Naccarato

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

In order to verify the role of CEA in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer and to evaluate some influencing factors like age, tumor spread and liver dysfunction, this antigen was measured in the sera of 60 control subjects, 45 patients with pancreatic cancer, 37 with chronic pancreatitis, 67 with benign, and 28 with malignant extra-pancreatic diseases. CEA was found to be elevated in 23/45 pancreatic cancers, in 8/37 chronic pancreatitis, in 17/67 benign and in 9/28 malignant extra-pancreatic diseases. Significant correlations were documented between CEA and age in all the subjects; between CEA and immunoglobulins G in liver cirrhosis and between CEA and alkaline phosphatase in gastrointestinal extra-pancreatic malignancies. In pancreatic cancer higher CEA levels were detected in patients with metastases. We can conclude that CEA is of limited value in the differential diagnosis of pancreatic cancer; it does not seem to be able to detect early pancreatic tumors. Age and liver dysfunction may contribute towards elevating this marker in serum.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)203-207
Number of pages5
JournalDisease Markers
Volume6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1988

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Medicine(all)

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