Preoperative serum CEA and CA 19-9 levels in 158 patients with gastric cancer were analyzed with respect to prognostic factors, using univariate and multivariate analysis. The incidence of high preoperative levels of both CEA and CA 19-9 was 10.1% (16/158). 13.9% (22/158) showed high CEA levels and normal CA 19-9 levels, whereas the reverse was true in 16.5% (26/158). Neither marker showed a high level in 59.5% (94/158). The multivariate analysis showed that in addition to tumor stage, the depth of invasion, liver metastasis and peritoneal dissemination, combination assays of preoperative serum CEA and CA 19-9 levels were an independent prognostic factor. Combination assays of preoperative serum CEA and CA 19-9 will allow us to conduct a more careful postoperative follow-up of high-risk patients, and also help determine the optimum adjuvant chemotherapy.
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