Serum carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA) levels were determined preoperatively in 221 patients with well-differentiated gastric cancer. The mean preoperative serum CEA level was 15.9 ± 88.5 ng/ml (1.0-1,133.0 ng/ml) for all patients, and the incidence of an elevated CEA (>5 ng/ml) was 11.8% (26/221). The CEA-positive patients had larger tumors, a more prominent serosal invasion, more frequent lymphatic and vascular involvement, less expansive tumor growth and higher rates of lymph node and hepatic metastases than did the CEA-negative patients. Thus, the CEA-positive patients had a more advanced stage of disease, and 61.5% underwent noncurative resection (vs. 11.3% in CEA-negative patients). The survival rate of the CEA-positive patients was lower than that of the CEA-negative ones (p < 0.01). As the multivariate analysis revealed the preoperative CEA level to be an independent prognostic factor for survival, an assay for this antigen prior to surgery is to be recommended.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Cancer Research