Clinical research
Application of biochemical markers CA 19-9, CEA and C-reactive protein in diagnosis of malicious and benign pancreatic tumors
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Submission date: 2011-06-22
Final revision date: 2011-09-28
Acceptance date: 2011-12-05
Online publication date: 2013-08-08
Publication date: 2013-08-31
Arch Med Sci 2013;9(4):677–683
Introduction: We would save many lives and spare a lot of suffering if we could only detect and accurately determine the character and TMN staging of pancreatic tumors (PTs). With improved diagnosis, we could offer specific treatment that would result in better treatment outcome. The aim of study was to determine the significance of neoplastic markers CA 19-9 and CEA for prognosis in inflammatory and carcinomatous PTs.
Material and methods: We based our research upon a group of 170 patients. The patients were treated in our Oncologic Surgery Department from January 2007 to December 2010 for PTs. The patients were divided into four groups depending on the character of the tumor and underwent the following treatments: group 1 – 34 patients with carcinoma of the ampulla of Vater, group 2 – 64 patients with PTs at different stages (1, 2, 3) according to TMN classification, group 3 – 62 patients with PTs at stage 4 on the TMN scale (unresectable tumors), group 4 – 28 patients with inflammatory PTs.
Results: The results of Ca 19-9 in group 2 were 736.00 (25–75% 220.40–4285.00) ng/ml before surgery, 53.00 (25–75% 12.60–84.00) ng/ml in the 7 days after surgery, 29.4 (25–75% 7.90–113.00) ng/ml at day 30, and 119.00 (25–75% 96.30–621.00) ng/ml 3 months after the operation. These results were significantly higher than the control group but were significantly lower than the results for group 3 (unresectable tumors). The highest average concentration and median for CA 19-9 and CEA were noted in patients with unresectable PTs (the 3rd group). The average concentration for CEA was lowest in group 4, but much higher than the lab limits.
Conclusions: The sensitivity of the CA 19-9 marker may be as high as 88%. Values of CA 19-9 above 852 U/ml may indicate TNM stage 4, consistent with an unresectable PT. In the cases where CA 19-9 is within normal limits but C-reactive protein is above normal limits (often thirty times the upper limit), in comparison to the control group and to patients with pancreatic neoplasms, strong consideration should be given towards the inflammatory characteristics of the pancreatic changes and conservative treatment should be applied.