Tumour CEA as predictor of better outcome in squamous cell carcinoma of the lung

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High levels of serum carcinoembryonic antigen (S-CEA) are considered a negative prognostic factor in non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), while the prognostic value of tumour CEA (T-CEA) is unknown. We investigated the prognostic role of T-CEA in radically resected early stage NSCLC. We measured preoperative S-CEA levels and T-CEA in 146 patients with stage 1-2 NSCLC, and analysed their influence on survival. In patients positive for T-CEA, 3-year survival was 80%, compared to 65% in T-CEA-negative patients (p = 0.03). After stratification by histology, T-CEA positivity was prognostic of better survival in squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) (p = 0.024) but not in adenocarcinomas (ADK) (p = 0.87). Multiple Cox regression analysis showed that T-CEA positivity was an independent predictor of better survival in patients with early stage NSCLC (p = 0.02). In SCC patients, the magnitude of the hazard ratio was confirmed even if the precision of the estimate is decreased (p = 0.06). In conclusion, T-CEA expression appears to be an important prognostic factor in early stage SSC of the lung.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-240
Number of pages8
JournalLung Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2005


  • CEA
  • Lung cancer
  • Prognostic factors
  • Squamous cell carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology


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